10 / 09 / 20
We are back and it’s full steam ahead as the Walsall Community Dialogue project begins its next stage and we prepare for our first dialogue sessions after our break. We have had to adjust, like many, to the continuously changing environment. The project is now covid-proof, supporting people living in Walsall to have meaningful conversations online with others they wouldn’t usually have an opportunity to meet. The project continues to work towards its original aims but the team have had to become tech savvy facilitators, which has bought with it new opportunities and plenty of new skills to learn!
The upcoming dialogue sessions will provide an opportunity for existing groups to reconnect and new groups to meet for the first time. We will be getting to know each other better by sharing our experiences of Covid-19 and the impact lockdown has had on ourselves, our families and communities. It seems more important than ever for people to get together to build relationships, share stories and learn from each other. For many, this has been a challenging and turbulent time, so we hope creating a safe space where people can connect to others will help to support communities.
This new online approach has also allowed us to reshape the project and open participation up to the wider Walsall community. We will be setting up groups that Walsall residents can sign up to.
If you are reading this and are interested in learning more or getting involved, please get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We said goodbye to Rich this month as he leaves the organisation to start his training to become a social worker. It was a bitter sweet send off as we wished him well for his future career and reflected on the impact he has had in growing the West Midlands work over the last four years. Rich was the first team member based in the West Midlands and the team has since expanded, working with schools, Universities and in the community across Birmingham and the Black Country. He has played a fundamental role in developing all these areas of work and we are particularly proud of his achievement in expanding our Linking Programme which now links over 45 schools in the West Midlands with students linking in all years from yr1 to yr9.
Luckily for us, he will be continuing to support us as a volunteer on our Schools Workshop Programme, so you may well see him again! It has been a privilege to have worked alongside Rich and from all of us at The Faith and Belief Forum, we wish him all the best for the future.