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BCHA Who We Are blog – Alice Evans, Personal Development Trainer

Alice Evans personal development coach

As an Ignite Personal Development Trainer my role is to deliver a range of qualifications and workshops to our students. I teach the Personal Development Skills qualification, which includes workshops such as Confidence Building, Self-Esteem and Take the Next Steps, which help people plan for their future.

I love delivering the Ignite courses as I believe everything that we teach is fundamental to any and every person. Prior to working for BCHA, I used to refer people I supported to this programme and was always so amazed at the personal journey people went through. I am so pleased to be making such a difference to the lives of people we support.

I also deliver Skills for Supporting Others, which is a Level 1 qualification accredited by NOCN (National Open College Network). As a qualified health and social care assessor, I enjoy teaching this qualification as I can open people’s eyes to the diversity of the support sector.

I also run the Right at Home course, which is an accredited qualification, giving people the skills and knowledge they need to manage their tenancy. This includes aspects of property maintenance, including basic DIY, managing a household budget and exploring ways to make ends meet and what bills need to be prioritised.

We have fun in class and explore supermarket psychology and complete taste tests to see if we can tell the difference between value and expensive brands (yum). We also explore the skills and behaviours we need to live with and around others and how to deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour. As part of this course we have a visit from a BCHA Housing Manager who answers our questions around our tenancy and explore rights and responsibilities. I always learn something new.

My role also involves connecting with external services to ensure effective partnership working and to get the great service delivery of the Ignite team out to every eligible person in our community. I love building partnerships both internally and externally to help meet the needs of the people I support.

Recently, I have been involved with designing and delivering BCHA staff training, including a Professional Boundaries course, soon to be followed by Lone Working training across the organisation. Plus I am also developing an exciting new Level 2 qualification for Ignite.

The Ignite team I work within is AWESOME - I learn from them personally and professionally every day. We support each other when things get super busy and share our knowledge and enthusiasm with each other.

It is hard to say which part of my job is my favourite. I particularly like delivering Take the Next Steps, which is the final Ignite workshop. I love this because I get to see how far our students have travelled on their personal journey over the previous weeks. As part of that workshop we review lots of future opportunities for them both internally at BCHA and externally with other providers. It is great to see them leave that session knowing their futures will be bright, using the tools and opportunities they have discovered.

Most of my engagement with our learners is in a classroom setting, working with them in a group. I support our students all the way through their learning journey, often from meeting them at a promotion or booking them on to a course, all the way through to successful completion of their qualification and signposting them on to future services and opportunities.

However, during lockdown all of my contact was digital or over the phone, but this did not hinder my work and in some ways ensured greater inclusivity to meet the needs of those people who were shielding and unable to access classes in our Covid secure environment.

Personal integrity is vital. How can customers I support and colleagues trust me if I am not honest and open with them? Literally in every session I deliver, I refer to the need for honesty. If we want our customers to grow, they need to be honest with themselves and I need to role model this.

Working in a person centred way, recognising every person’s value and diversity, is key to a positive experience and personal journey. I often ask my learners to look at their thumb print and recognise that they are unique. No two people are the same and everyone needs to be treated as an individual, with equality of opportunity and respect. In my role, I often reflect upon any reasonable adjustments that need to be made to support our customer to have a positive and effective learning experience.

I get very excited about new workshops and projects and can’t wait to get my teeth into developing more workshops for Ignite when I have the time. I love listening to our learners, their thoughts, experiences and opinions and love to share this with my manager to capture what our customers want and need in their future.

One of my biggest achievements while working for BCHA was during the annual conference for Inspiring Change in 2020, when I was awarded the title of Champion Educator. This was such a lovely surprise and something I am very proud of. I also won the Christmas jumper competition 2019, which was a close second (I LOVE Christmas).

Since moving to Dorset, I have referred many people to BCHA’s services, including the Ignite programme. I am always amazed at the personal journey those participants make. I feel very proud to be part of the BCHA family and being able to deliver person centred, high quality services to the people we support, contributing to their personal journey.

Having worked for many years providing employability and wellbeing services to individuals who were experiencing long term unemployment and complex barriers and another period of time supporting students and apprentices as a health social care assessor, I feel my role at BCHA is a perfect blend of bringing my experience and knowledge together to do this.

I have learnt a great deal about myself while working for BCHA. Teaching so many key topics that are fundamental to the human condition has helped me to look inward and work on my own personal development.

I have learnt always to be prepared - as you never know what the day will bring.

You can watch Alice Evans' workshops on BCHA's You Tube channel

For further details about BCHA's Personal Development courses, please email: ignite@bcha.org.uk or call: 01202 410595 

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