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Challengers Chat: July 2017

Challengers Chat - July 2017

Welcome to the eighth instalment of the Challengers Chat. This month, our Training Officer, Aino Raymond, talks about how our training for staff has developed over the last couple of years.

Hello everyone! My name is Aino Raymond and I am the Training Officer at Challengers. I organise most of the internal training for Scheme Workers, Leaders and Office staff and develop our Online Training and Workshops. I also train Behaviour Management, MAPA (Managing Actual and Potential Aggression – an advanced Behaviour Management course), and Moving People. This all makes July a very busy month for me as I’m preparing for our Summer Training Week (Sunday 23rd – Friday 28th July), when most schemes close to train our staff to be the best ever Play and Youth Workers and Leaders!

My role is a new one for the organisation – it begun in 2015 after a campaign called The Big Give in December 2014 fundraised for it. At the time, I was a Challengers supporter and volunteer fundraiser, so I donated to the campaign and only afterwards thought of applying to the role. I ended up fundraising for my future job!

Once I started I saw instantly how passionate Challengers is about training and for a good reason: due to our inclusion policy all children and young people are welcome, so we need to make sure staff are trained to care for their every need. I soon discovered ways to make sure all new Workers received their basic training sooner, and developed the workshops Challengers offer based on feedback from staff and trainers. We now offer 28 different courses regularly, some during our termly training weeks and weekends, and some are available online where staff can access them anytime they like.

The Online Training Portal has made a real difference to training at Challengers in the past year. After launching Online Training last year, it has really blossomed in 2017, as we have increased the available courses from 4 to 12! The new Challengers-made courses include Epilepsy Awareness, Manual Handling, Communication Skills, and many more. We have already had nearly double of the courses completed by staff compared to last year! The Online Training Portal makes it possible for all staff to access training when and where it’s convenient for them, so they can access the training quickly. The staff can also return to the content any time they like, which makes it easy to refresh your knowledge.

Focusing on the Online Training does not mean we have forgotten the face-to-face workshops many of the Challengers team enjoy. Giving learners the basic theory and facts online means that we can spend more time at workshops to teach practical skills, like moving people, and have discussions on more complex topics. We have also added specific training workshops for Leaders during their Leader evenings, so that they can develop their management skills and offer more support for the Workers.

As the torch is now passed to our new Training Officer Ella Arbelaez-Rodriguez, who is starting in the role in September, I am excited to hear how the training at Challengers will be developed even further. I am sure the focus remains the same as it has ever been: deliver the most amazing training possible, so that each of our staff members can be a true Challengers Star and provide play, laughter and care for all children and young people attending Challengers!

For more information about our training, visit the Team Challengers section of the website.