We are so proud of our Change Coaches, working tirelessly to empower people. We wanted to introduce you to Laura, one of our fabulous Change Coaches in Somerset!
“Being a change coach for Pluss’ Positive People is the best job I have ever had! I work with a fantastic team in Somerset and, with their support, whatever I am working on we manage to do so with great success. That said it can also be a little hectic, a little stressful and a little demanding.
“As a Change Coach, my main workload consists of managing a caseload of customers, helping them overcome their barriers, move closer to the workplace and obtain a clearer path of where they want to go. Another part of my job also includes running workshops called “Steps to Success”. These workshops were created to support the team in achieving economically inactive outcomes whilst offering a meaningful experience to our customers with a direction to move on to.
“We try to collect as much feedback as possible from the customer following the workshops. We also provide days out where an activity takes place in the morning, we provide lunch and then we hold a discussion/focus group. We call this our ‘Participant User Board’. We gain feedback on workshops and general participant activities as well as using this as a tool to understand how we can better the project for the future.
Planning the Participant User Board
“Organising an event like this may seem quite straight forward, but very rarely is. Let’s start with the customers. They all have the intention of participating in this great opportunity but with most customers experiencing low mental health and anxiety in some way when it comes to attending these events, nerves can get the better of them.
“So 24 hours prior to an archery group in West Somerset followed by a pub lunch and feedback, a number of participants were dropping out. Some had other courses that they had signed up to from Jobcentre Plus and some had just changed their mind. This was crunch time. We can’t have a participant user board without the participants. Maybe we should just cancel?
“Sun, clear sky, a gentle breeze, what more could you ask for? No rain, forget the rest, no rain would be great. With the weather seemingly looking mild for that day, to another strangely named storm being announced this is another threat too if this user board can even take place.
“Call to my colleagues, a little venting, and some good old-fashioned teamwork we managed to pull together some other participants for the event. A further call of concern regarding the weather to the archery company and we have a slight change of venue to allow the activity to take place undercover.
“Fantastic it’s all going ahead. I’ll meet the other change coach at the venue. The customers will travel by bus. Full steam ahead.
On the Day
“That morning, setting off in good time and STOP. My car’s dead. I’m travelling from Taunton to West Somerset – no, I’m not! The car has broken down. Call to a colleague “running late, kind of stuck, might see you later”. After a kind neighbour showed me how you move a vehicle off the road (apparently you need the handbrake off), my manager came to the rescue, having to take a slight detour from her route but came and got me and the archery was on!
“The group was great, they all took part and interacted, a little bit of spirited competition and off to the pub for lunch. As we were sitting down to start our focus group we looked out the window and saw this…
So, in the end, I got what I asked for… No rain
Our wonderful Laura has also recently appeared on Chaos TV talking about how Pluss' Positive People help their participants to improve their health and wellbeing by getting out into nature. Catch up online here: https://vimeo.com/thisischaosuk
Positive People is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.