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Recently a group of clients from St Wilfrid’s Centre attended the Northern College in Wentworth for a course entitled “Introduction to 5 Ways of Well-Being Course”.  Here is Madeleine Thomas’ account of this exciting initiative.

  The June skies cleared as we arrived at Northern College, Wentworth, for our annual residential learning experience.  For three days (19–21 June), thirteen clients attended the ‘Introduction to 5 Ways of Wellbeing Course’, specially crafted to meet the support needs of clients with wellbeing and learning challenges.

  The lifting clouds proved to be the perfect learning metaphor!  Abstract “well-being” concepts such as ‘Being Active’, ‘Learning’, ‘Connecting’, ‘Taking Notice’ and ‘Giving’ were explored in relatable and experiential ways.  All themes were considered in ways that related directly to the lives of each individual who attended.

  Dominic Maloney, St Wilfrid’s Personal Development Manager, commented that, “This has been an incredibly valuable life-learning experience for our clients.  This introduction has helped each individual to look at their own lives and identify where they can pro-actively engage with the 5 Ways as a buffer against the life circumstances and behaviour patterns that keep them isolated, disconnected or struggling to fully be all that they can be.  All attendees shared aspects of their own life experiences and showed incredible support to each other throughout the course.  Together we discovered new ways for problem solving, working as a team, identifying one’s own development needs, taking part in sports, engaging with nature and making a video of the whole experience!  It was a truly wonderful – and tiring experience.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the three days we spent together as a company of friends and fellow learners.  At the close of the session, we presented a St Wilfrid’s “Thank You” card to all staff at Northern College for making us so welcome and for challenging in such a friendly and practical way”.

CONNECTING               GIVING               BEING ACTIVE

TAKING NOTICE               LEARNING

  Once back at the Centre, the group self-selected to meet on a fortnightly basis to build on the great start we made at Northern College and to develop peer mentoring skills in order to create a more participatory experience for clients at St Wilfrid’s.

  One client of St Wilfrid’s commented, “I never would have ever thought that I would attend college, but this has really opened my eyes to what I might be able to do in my life.  It has been a brilliant experience that I was scared of at first but, now I have been here, I would not have missed it for the world.”