Category: People and Performance Subcategory: Staff Development Awards won: Overall People & Performance category; Staff Development subcategory
This opportunity provided fantastic learning opportunities to staff, some with no formal qualifications or experience of new ways of working. The opportunity offered staff a mixture of learning experiences from experiencing different cultures, different forms of treatment, attending graduation ceremonies with families, witnessing concerning practices of safe drug using houses and needle exchanges in Poland, to horse therapy in Spain. Some groups of staff had never met each other before, and were mostly from different sectors (prison, residential and community).
Staff showed they were brave to take the opportunity, a passion to invest in learning.
This project has provided all partners involved with a broader understanding of alternative practices that have shown to be successful in improving the lives of our service users accessing addiction projects. This opportunity provided fantastic learning opportunities to staff, some with no formal qualifications or experience working in other organisations to go and experience new services, ways of working and cultures. The opportunity offered staff a mixture of learning experiences from experiencing different cultures, different forms of treatment, attending graduation ceremonies with families, witnessing concerning practices of safe using houses and needle exchanges in Poland, to horse therapy in Spain.
The innovation and impact is vast as this project contributes to increasing our skills and knowledge of drug treatment across Europe and enabling us to be a leading provider in the sector. Our involvement in this project displays a keen interest in broadening the learning horizons for our staff in innovative ways. It enabled dynamic learning from all areas of the organisation as participants were from administration, prison, community and residential roles. This involvement has also opened doors for involvement in other European projects and we are currently working with 4 European partners on an online drug prevention training course.[/one_half_last]
We will stay with the same format of planning, travel and numbers in groups in future, but with more emphasis on learning some of the local language before travel, as I don t think we promoted this as well as we could have done. This will assist our staff whilst travelling, although part of the project terms is an English speaking translator available each trip. We feel in future, a little language knowledge and effort builds bridges between cultures and increases friendship and understanding.
Mobility funding (TOI) Transfer of Innovation, is available from the EU Commission, managed by Ecorys in the UK. It enables any organisation to apply for funding to send staff to participating EU countries to work for a set period in like for like organisations. Learning excellence requires not only new theoretical knowledge, but the acquisition of new practical skills based on experimentation and observation of good models. Speaking different languages, the common occupation is a factor of communication and a strong link between professionals. Traveling to meet others enriches both sides, leads to development of skills, empathy and flexibility.[/one_half_last]
Frances Gray, Head of Learning & Development, Phoenix Futures
Frances is also participating in the World of Learning Conference Panel Debate with the Director of the Peer Awards and fellow Peer Awards Finalists Reed Smith and MetLife on September 30th.
All Peer Awards 2014 delegates receive 10% discount off their delegate place at the World of Learning Conference. To book call 020 8394 5171 or register online at www.learnevents.com.