|Volunteer Kevin Duffy reports on the volunteers training session held on 4th March 2020
Helen introduced Debra McCallion as facilitator for the training. With a couple of late arrivals, there were 15 people attending, many of them fairly new to the volunteering role. Everyone briefly introduced themselves.
Debra explained that we would be exploring 3 main topics:
Debra split the group into pairs/threes to discuss the first question. The responses as to why people are volunteering with CGN included:
There were variations on these, of course. With regard to the extent to which these aims are being met, quite a few said that, as they are fairly new to CGN they do not yet have extensive experience to know whether aims would be met, but anticipated that they would. The more experienced volunteers said that they really valued their volunteering role and that it had brought more depth to their own lives.
Debra then asked us to discuss in small groups whether we had experienced, or anticipated, any challenges when meeting with people in the community. As one would expect, there were a range of ideas, including:
A few tips to deal with clients who may be difficult to engage in conversation or general interaction:
The third part of the session focused on developing our own Strategies for building personal resilience, broadly based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Debra asked the groups to discuss/estimate:
The groups came up with wildly divergent answers, but the received wisdom is that, on average we have between 50-70,000 thoughts every day, roughly 75% of which are negative.
Debra explained that the constant chatter we all have in our minds is geared towards the Negative, and we can adopt a number of strategies to help address this, including developing an Attitude of Gratitude and methods to avoid falling into Thinking Traps.
As we were running out of time, Debra circulated a helpful handout which outlined a range of positive strategies that we can adopt.
As the session concluded, Helen thanked Debra on behalf of all the volunteers for such an enjoyable, useful and interactive training session.