This Autumn we offered a course at Back on Track called ‘Having a Voice’. The course was the result of a recent ‘Service User Feedback Week’ – we wanted to know if people wanted to get involved with how Back on Track worked (for example, helping us out with publicity, writing articles, attending meetings, taking part in interview panels) and what skills they would need to go about it. To encourage our learners to contribute more, they said they would need support with building up skills such as presentation skills and also build confidence in speaking to people in different situations.
The ‘Having a Voice’ course encompassed communication skills, presentational skills and most of all encouraged learners to value what they have to say rather than think they won’t be heard. We did lots of work on telling our own story to others, and also contributed to the ‘Wigan Pier Project’ – giving a voice to those who don’t usually get their voice heard in society. We also got to grill a member of the Senior Management team about all things Back on Track! We created our own publicity materials, telling new learners about our Back on Track experience, which will be displayed in our IT room display. Part of the course was to explore new ways to get involved, and we also researched our own local MPs and how best to contact them to make sure they are representing us.
We’ve had lots of positive feedback. One learner said ‘I felt like I was able to get my point across in a polite and formal way’, another said ‘I feel more able to express my opinions now without being aggressive’.
For the people on the course, and for anyone else who is interested in becoming more involved in how Back on Track does things, there will be opportunities in the future to have your say, and become more instrumental in how Back on Track moves forward and grows. Watch this Space!
To find out more about the Wigan Pier Project visit https://www.wiganpierproject.com
To find out more about Back on Track’s service user involvement work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org