Vicki Jones, the Silverlinks Training and Information Development Coordinator, visited West of England Care and Repair (WE Care and Repair) in Bristol to run a training session with six willing Silverlinks volunteers – or “Slinkies” as they are known in Bristol!
The purpose of the session is to train volunteers to be able to deliver ‘Pass It On – Later Life Housing and Care Options’ workshops to groups of older people. ‘Pass It On’ is one of the workshops developed by Silverlinks and is an introduction to housing and care options in later life. The idea behind ‘Pass It On’ is that people who attend go away with more knowledge of the subject as well as knowing where to go for more information and advice. They are also encouraged to pass the information on to other people they know, thereby reaching a wider group of people.
The session aimed to help the Slinkies feel more confident about giving presentations and to learn some of the practical skills needed to give a presentation. It lasted for about 3 hours and during it the group learnt how to control their nerves, project their voices, write on flipchart and use a computer to deliver a PowerPoint presentation. The session culminated with them splitting into pairs and then preparing and delivering a 10 minute presentation to the rest of the group.
They had to organise an icebreaker, talk through slides and write on the flipchart. They all undertook this task with great enthusiasm (even the ones who were nervous or had never used a computer before) and they all successfully gave their presentations. They were very supportive and encouraging of each other and everyone left smiling (although that may have been because of the biscuits and sweets Vicki took along for them!)
The session was very informal and a lot of fun – there was a lot of laughter and the Chief Executive of WE Care and Repair even commented that it was the first time he had heard applause coming from the room! A couple of comments from Slinkies who attended were “Excellent” and “This course addressed a crisis of confidence in my ability to give a presentation. It has reminded me that I can! Thank you”
Now we hope that the Slinkies will be keen to put their new skills into practice when they give presentations to groups as part of their volunteering with Silverlinks. Well done and thank you to everyone who took part.