During October to December last year, Barbara, our Aberdeenshire Learning Co-ordinator has been working in partnership with the Co-ordinator from The Bridge Project in Fraserburgh to arrange for two groups of 4 learners to work towards an Adult Achievement Award. The Bridge Project is a partnership between Day Services and Employability in Aberdeenshire Council. It’s a project for one year for disabled adults within Day Services to further develop independent living skills, communication and employability skills, gain experience in leisure and volunteering opportunities to become more active citizens in their community.
The learners have been involved in setting up and running a monthly drop-in Conversation Café for the local community. The first group have now completed their Reflective Journals and met each week, over 8 weeks with volunteer support, to discuss and write about the skills they have gained from being involved in this venture.
One learner commented that meeting together and working towards the Award, “was a positive experience and I worked really hard and typed the journal up myself”. One of the things he learned about himself is that he is hard working, has good organisational skills and works well in a team.
Another learner said, “I see how much learning I’ve done and what I have achieved by volunteering at the Café.” Thinking about an action plan for their future goals is also beneficial to give clarity about what the next steps may be, in the short and longer term and how they can work towards achieving them. This learner identified the type of job he wants to do and what he plans to do next to make this happen.
One learner said, “By meeting in the group and talking about our learning we did through volunteering I see how much I have learned and the news skills I have. I am more confident to try new things. This learner identified that he needs to start speaking up more, using his voice and express himself about what he wants to do. He sees that that he could do more things at home for himself.
The group have also identified goals not only for future employment but to improve their health and wellbeing too, by becoming more active through exercise or sports and eating more healthily. This Award fits well with the type of activities they have been involved in giving them the opportunity to gain a National Certificate for the learning they have undertaken and it is well deserved!