Story Telling: Strengthening Skills and Knowledge of Communities

This training explores a powerful way of capture what communities have to tell about what they have learned about dealing with hard times. This narrative approach to strengthening community work is being used in a range of communities around the world and is relevant to strengthening schools, parents, community groups, organisations in the UK and elsewhere.

Course Category

Strategic Work
Inclusion
Person Centred Planning
Behaviour and Relationships

Description

This training explores a powerful way of capture what communities have to tell about what they have learned about dealing with hard times. This narrative approach to strengthening community work is being used in a range of communities around the world and is relevant to strengthening schools, parents, community groups, organisations in the UK and elsewhere.

When a community that is facing difficult times, community members will be doing whatever possible, in their own ways, based on particular skills and knowledges, to try to address the effects of the problem(s) on their lives and the lives of those they love and care about.

This learning may not currently be widely recognised, and the actions may not in themselves be enough to overcome all that is challenging the community. These initiatives are, however, highly significant.

Making it possible for stories about special knowledges and skills in dealing with hard times to be shared between communities can enable conversations to take place about difficult issues, and about peoples hopes and dreams, in ways that don’t put individuals on the spot. These are topics that otherwise don’t often get talked about. This sort of sharing of stories can make it more possible for people to reconnect with their own skills and knowledge and to take further action in reclaiming their communities.

This process also provides a rich form of acknowledgement for the significant initiatives that community members are already taking to try to address current predicaments. Significantly, this process can enable the older generation and the younger generation in communities to listen and learn from each other about what is most important to them in their lives.

At the same time, this process enables links between communities to develop. This means, far from feeling so alone in current difficulties, it becomes possible to see that one’s community might have something significant to offer other communities who are dealing with similar issues.

Making it possible for community members to identify skills and knowledge, to richly describe them so they become more visible to themselves and to others, and to trace the history of these skills and knowledges so that the ways these are linked to local culture are understood, can strengthen these initiatives in ways that make further action possible.

Finding audiences to witness stories about these initiatives is a next step. If richly described stories of community initiatives are witnessed and responded to by those in other communities facing similar difficulties, if messages can be sent back and forth, then support and a sense of solidarity can be generated. Those community members already taking action can be powerfully supported in this process, while others can be inspired to join in. The documentation, circulation and celebration of community skills and knowledge can, in time, take on a life of its own.

Reference: Linking Stories and Initiatives: A narrative approach to working with the skills and knowledge of communities (Denborough et al 2006 – International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work)

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Learning Objectives

  1. To understand underlying values and concepts to a narrative approach to working with communities
  2. To explore practical ways of consulting with communities – drawing out themes, values, dreams, hopes, skills and knowledge
  3. To explore the mutual impact of communicating stories from one community to another

Who Is It For ?

  • Community Development/Capacity Building Workers
  • Researchers
  • Multi Agency Teams
  • Social workers
  • CAMHS teams
  • Year Managers
  • Primary and secondary staff teams
  • Early Years and School based Practitioners
  • Heads and Deputies
  • SENCOs
  • Advanced Skills Teachers
  • Primary and secondary teachers
  • Local Authority Support Services

Course Content

This will be an interactive course involving:

  • Background and Rationale for narrative approaches
  • Graphic facilitation processes for listening to and recording stories
  • Group process facilitation for active listening and use of guided questions with communities
  • Link between Person Centred Planning and Story telling/Narrative Approaches explored
  • Practical demonstration of processes carried out live
  • Stories of this way of working shared

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Contact Us

Colin Newton

0115 955 6045

Doug and Maggie

01473 437590

dnewton123@ntlworld.com

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Nottingham
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