Online workshop archive

Here are the topics we have covered so far, scroll down for videos and notes from each session:

October 2019 - Intergenerational
September 2019
 - Inclusion
June 2019 - Asset-Based Community Development
April 2019 - Microfunding
March 2019 - Making Every Voice Count
January 2019 - Bringing in Others
December 2018 - Looking After Ourselves

October 2019 - Intergenerational

Watch the edited video

Intergenerational practice – definitions
www.generationsworkingtogether.org
'Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the young and old have to offer each other and those around them
(Beth Johnson Foundation)
International certificate of intergenerational learning
"A learning partnership based on reciprocity and mutuality involving people of different ages where the generations work together to gain skills, values and knowledge." 
(European Network of Intergenerational Learning)

What is a generation?
For the purposes of intergenerational work, a generation is considered to be a gap of round 20 – 25 years. Over this gap in age researchers can measure and view marked differences in a number of social aspects of our life. For example, researchers in America talk about “six living generations” which are fairly distinct groups of people. Each generation has different likes, dislikes and attributes. Together they have had collective experiences as they have aged, leading to the likelihood of broadly similar ideals. Of course, a person’s date of birth may not be indicative of generational characteristics, but as a part of a common group there are likely to be similarities.

Principles of Intergenerational Practice

Some possible obstacles

  • Lack of practice of being with people of different generations.
  • Participants feeling that it's not for them.
  • The use of jargon and terminology within different organisations or by certain individuals.
  • Timing - the project may be competing with other things (e.g. free time, leisure time, school time, end of term holidays) which may take priority.
  • Daylight hours.
  • Childcare.
  • Costs associated with participating in the programme, such as transport costs.
  • Language and cultural differences.
  • Local dynamics and idiosyncrasies, which could make such encounters problematic.
  • Lack of trust and fear around what one generation may think of others.
  • Difficulties in managing different needs and expectations of participants and organisations involved.
  • Ethical and legal issues.
  • Stereotypes and social prejudices.

Stereotypes exercise
Ask your group: “Are the following statements targeted at younger people by older people or at older people by younger people?” Take a show of hands for each question.

  1. They always stick together and keep their distance from other age groups
  2. I hate the way they drive. They are a menace on the road.
  3. They are always taking and never giving. They think the world owes them a living
  4. They are so opinionated. They think they know everything.
  5. They are never satisfied, always complaining about something.
  6. Don’t hire them. You can’t depend on them.
  7. Don’t they have anything better to do than hang around parks and shopping centres?
  8. Why are they always so forgetful?
  9. I wish I had such freedoms as they have.
  10. Why don’t they act their age?

All statements can really be targeted at all generations by all others and  represent some of the myths which can inflate stereotypes and get in the way of the creation of intergenerational relationships and connections.
If you have time, elicit from your group some of the other stereotypes which generations hold about each other. We will briefly discuss some of these when we come back together.

Further information and learning
https://www.foodforlife.org.uk/get-togethers
https://generationsworkingtogether.org/
https://www.bjf.org.uk/

September 2019 - Inclusion


Key themes
The principle of the sessions were that there are no wrong questions – it’s much better to ask than to assume.
We discussed what it means to help others, and many of the points centred around control and power. A key part of inclusion felt like the ability to allow other people control in their own life, not to make decisions for them.
There were lots of taboos around inclusion, and issues of uncertainty, guilt etc. which could create barriers on both sides.
Julie’s key suggestion was to always ask! Don’t assume, listen to your curiosity, engage without knowing all the answers.
Asking for help can also be really important and useful, it should always be a two-way relationship. What are you getting out of it?
It’s ok to get it wrong, as long as we learn from our mistakes.
Another key aspect of this was the importance of valuing others and their experience. Sometimes it is right to pay for advice and experience of marginalised or seldom-heard groups, especially if they have had to ‘pay’ to gain the experience through being marginalised by society.
Empathy is vital, and this is summed up beautifully by these two comments from Marta and Bethan:
My other thought is that sometimes in our drive to increase diversity we can homogenise a particular community as if it’s a monolith, not a group of individuals who happen to have one or two characteristics in common. Perhaps one for a whole other webinar, but I’d be interested in talking about making space for tensions and differences within the communities we try to engage with.
It’s exhausting for marginalised people to always have to educate others because they have never been in a space that isn't designed for you

Three suggestions

  1. Know your neighbour – a few people mentioned The Big Lunch, and Julie discussed the benefits of connecting with others on your street/in your town. This can create valuable new connections outside of our own immediate experiences.
  2. Emergency plans – when disasters happen, it breaks social bonds and helps people find permission to reach out and support each other. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that without a disaster! Emergency plans came up as a potentially wonderful solution to this – engaging the whole community and ensuring that everyone has a role to play in something which affects them all. More links on this below.
  3. Always leave an open chair/space – in all that you do, always leave space for others to join in their own time and in their own way. Don’t present a closed group or idea, other people will be able to define the way they want to engage much better than we can on our own.

Other links
Learn your name in BSL: https://www.british-sign.co.uk/fingerspelling-alphabet-charts/
Privilege Walk example: https://youtu.be/kyl4EJhq47A
Mentimeter – a free and easy (as long as you have a smartphone!) way to ask questions in a safe way: https://www.mentimeter.com
An example of Community Resilience funding: https://www.ssen.co.uk/Resiliencefund/
Disability passports: https://www.tuc.org.uk/reasonable-adjustments-disability-passports
Safe Places: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/safeplaces
Nina Simon: http://www.artofrelevance.org/
Emergency plan example: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/emergencyplanningandcommunitysafety/emergencyplanning/howweplan/plans/
Communities Prepared – funding and resources for community emergency plans: https://www.communitiesprepared.org.uk/
Julie promised to share https://www.onebarnstaple.org.uk/ / https://www.facebook.com/OneBarnstaple as an example of a joined-up community partnership

June 2019 - Asset-Based Community Development

Watch the edited video

Here are some things which came up across the workshops:

 

April 2019 - Microfunding

Watch the edited video

Six practical steps you can take right now!

  1. Approach your local Co-op (or other supermarket) to ask what support they could offer – e.g. surplus food, take part in a charity token scheme
  2. Look into the various crowdfunding platforms, like Crowdfunder, or one of the various alternative options around:
    -  The 8 Best Crowdfunding Sites of 2019
    -  Top 5 crowdfunding platforms that nonprofits, social causes can use
  3. Sit down on your own or with your group and make a list of all of the individuals, organisations or institutions in your community who you could approach to ask for support. Once you’ve written your list, double it, by thinking beyond the usual suspects
  4. Find your local councillors, then contact them and ask for their support (through their own community funds or something else)
  5. Put yourself in the shoes of someone you want to approach and consider:
  • What is the human appeal? How will this impact them as an individual, rather than a representative of a business/etc.
  • How can you simply convey the impact their support will have?
  • What assumptions might you make about them and their response/experience?
  • How can you communicate the legacy their support will have?
  • How can you invite their support as an investment, rather than a donation?

 

March 2019 - Making Every Voice Count

Watch the edited video

The car journey analogy

Laonikos walked us through a useful framework for thinking about shared ownership, using a story of going on a car journey. We all found this really useful, and would recommend it to discuss with our own groups. Either altogether or in smaller groups, work through the following questions:

  1. You are the car owner, what do you need to communicate to others so they feel invited to help be part of the journey?
  2. You are potential passengers, what do you need to know about the trip in order to join or not join the trip?
  3. You are responsible for insuring the trip, what do you need to know before you invest a large sum of your money into this trip?

You can hear on the recording where we took the analogy, but it created some fascinating insights about risk, choice, purpose and onward journeys.

An interesting model of shared ownership

I mentioned an organisation called Chayn, who use a rotating membership structure, and you can read more about them here.

 

January 2019 - Bringing in Others

Watch the edited video

Notes

  • Empathy mapping – this is a hugely useful tool to put yourself in the mind of the person (or group of people) you are trying to engage. Work on your own or with others, and think about what they are seeing, hearing, doing, thinking. Identify the gaps in your knowledge, what don’t you know until you ask? Use the worksheet attached. If you’re struggling, do it from your own perspective to get used to the idea of taking a step back and noticing what you are experiencing
  • Delegation and collaboration – this can be broadly thought of as creating tasks and creating space. Both are valid, and useful, but not always compatible, and it’s important to come to terms with the power dynamics you are using. Consider old power vs new power (a helpful overview is here) where old power is the more traditional approach which is top down and transactional, whereas new power is more DIY and about relationships. Notice and respect the inherent fear in holding and letting go of power, accept the risks that mistakes will be made. ‘Leave seats empty’ – don’t try to make everything look neat and finished, keep spaces open for others to come into and feel part of
  • Offer what people want – it’s easier to go to where people are, get them to identify as someone who is part of your thing, and then bring them with you to where you want them to be (with their consent, of course!). Create allies!
  • And, of course, learn from slime mould – ask nature for help, it will always have a model

Start with why - how great leaders inspire action

A TedTalk suggested by James.

Marshall Ganz The Story of self, the story of us, the story of now 

From Diana, a great tool to create an engaging narrative.

 

December 2018 - Looking After Ourselves

Watch the edited video

Drivers - these are Be Perfect, Be Pleasing, Try Hard, Be Strong, Hurry Up.

Useful questions to consider are:

  1. In what way do the ones you rated highly operate in your life?
  2. What effect do they have on your work for social change?
  3. How might they contribute to burnout?
  4. Do you notice giving these kinds of messages to colleagues or others?

Resilience

The Resilience Tree shows your roots (what gives you energy, direction, joy etc.) and fruits (what a resilient you is able to do) of resilience. Remember to balance tangible ideas (e.g. sleep, exercise) with more conceptual ones (e.g. creativity, being kind), and work to create links between them to help eradicate the Myth of Doing Nothing.

Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability

As said by Laura during the workshop, “Brene Brown is amazing. That TED talk is EVERYTHING”

Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

As recommended by Charlotte during the workshop