Admittedly, when I was first approached about doing the Rebuilding Your Community (RYC) training, I agreed to it with a feeling of reluctance and anxiety. I’m the person who notoriously starts courses and never finishes them. I’ve actually lost count of how many things I’ve started and not finished. There is always a genuine reason I don’t finish. In the past, I had family issues, which added a layer of complexity to completing things, but that was only one aspect. The main reasons I never finished were because of how the courses made me feel. I’ve found over the years that adult courses fall into one of two categories: they either made me feel like I was still in kindergarten or they were too heavily theory-based. It is difficult for me to find relevant courses that are designed for adults and delivered in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling either totally stupid or arrogantly superior. Thankfully, a third of the way into RYC training and I can happily report that I’m here to stay. The reluctance and anxiety are out the door.
I have finally found a course that I can finish with my dignity intact, feeling like an adult and relieved I’ve finally found something that encourages participants to think.
In many places my life has taken me, I have been considered contentious or controversial. In many educational settings, the moment you say anything of this nature, you are shut down and end up feeling very harshly judged, marks often reflecting this feeling – here at RYC, points of contention or controversy are seen as discussion points.There are no feelings of hostility, no anxiety, no feeling shut down. Talk about a breath of fresh air!
I can’t say that it’s been totally smooth sailing. I’ve had those dodgy moments where I didn’t understand the content and where I’ve sat there blankly trying to work out what was going on or being said. Thankfully the CBBC team delivering the sessions are so lovely and interesting that you stay in your seat transfixed, so even if you don’t understand what’s going on, you hang around long enough for whatever it is that didn’t make sense to all of a sudden become clear and then, wow! What a world that opens up!
Whilst the course can be quite heavy with theory, it’s obvious the CBBC team have taken this into account and have developed some interesting activities to help cement concepts and reduce ‘tune-out’. Nobody is ever spoken down to, all opinions are listened to and fleshed out in accordance with the Centre's beliefs and values.
It’s a very welcoming environment to explore a better way of developing communities.
As I've said all along, I’m notorious for starting courses and not finishing them. There are very few courses I believe in and even less that I recommend; the Rebuilding Your Community training is one of the very few. I would highly recommend it to anybody who is interested in a hand up approach to helping community.