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What’s happening on the other side of Europe? | Senior Plus

What’s happening on the other side of Europe?

Between 23rd January and 8th February, 2 joint staff mobilities took place: one in Hemel Hemstead, Great-Britain and one in Pau, France. 

What’s a joint staff mobility?

The idea behind a joint staff mobility is for trainers from different organisations to get first hand experience of the work that other partners are undertaking regarding the senior training sessions. Even if we are all working on a common training pathway, we all have different ways of implementation! The staff can then enrich their local work with the knowledge gained from the mobility.

 So what happened in Dacorum?

DCVS (working name Community Action Dacorum – CAD) hosted two staff members under the Senior Plus staff mobility training in January 2017.  Pauline Baudou came from Pistes-Solidaires in Pau, France and Margarida Silva from AMC in Lisbon, Portugal.

CAD prepared a programme of activities that showcased how they engage people over the age of 50. On the first day, everyone was introduced to CAD’s activities, and there was a visit to a volunteer centre to see how volunteering opportunities are offered to people age 50+, as well as an introduction to adult learning. The subsequent days saw the partners visit a Job Centre Plus, Job Clubs, shop mobility and other places of interest to the project, and they also took part in senior training, which was greatly enjoyed by all.

 CAD was the first partner to deliver senior training, and the other partners took note of good practices to incorporate into their own training. This training session also provided Pauline with first hand experience of participants working with the online Portfolio platform that Pistes-Solidaires have created, which helped her evaluate what has worked well and what needs to be improved. At the end of the week, Pauline and Margarida shared their highlights of the week in an interview on the local radio.

 Joint staff mobility helps partners to better understand each others’ working environment and cultures; this particular mobility was a successful learning curve for all partners involved and all would highly recommended it as a tool for professional development.

 And what about the mobility in Pau?

Pistes-Solidaires hosted four people coming from Community Action Dacorum, Gulbene municipality, and Associação Mais Cidadania. During the five days that the participants were in France, Pistes-Solidaires showed them how the Senior Plus training pathway perfectly fits and integrates our organisation strategy.

 We got to work as soon as the participants arrived on the 4th February. First, we presented Pistes-Solidaires to them, the way we function, and the kind of projects we work on.

Then the participants discovered the tools that we are going to use for our training sessions with the seniors: an adapted version of Snakes and Ladders. We also showed them the way a typical session with seniors will work, before the partners worked together on a specific session regarding soft competences and motivation. Snakes and Ladders is used in various training programmes with Pistes-Solidaires and with different audiences, from NEETs to Seniors. We decided to show participants the game in context by letting them observe a training session with young NEETs.

Aside from the training session, the participants also had time to discover some of the activities we will offer the seniors from their country coming to France: creating activities for children, contributing to Pistes-Solidaires projects, etc. We also had time to present the COMP-PASS e-Portfolio to the participants; as we are in charge of this intellectual output, it was logical to show them the way it works and answer their questions.

Tatjana, Ann, Antra and Sabrina were wonderful participants and were curious about our work and our methods. We learned from each other during these five days and we all benefit from the joint mobility!

And on the cultural side? A part from a few badly-timed storms our job shadowers had a bit of time to visit Pau and especially enjoyed the castle!

 

Musarat Inayat & Pauline Baudou

Community Action Dacorum, Staff

Hemel Hempstead (UK), 8th of February 2017

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