Programme Week 2: Hope has entered the room!
The week opens with calling up the programme participants, sharing the news with them that they’ve made it onto the programme. With everyone delighted, the plan for the week’s session is shared and we wait until Thursday.
We do our introductions, welcoming the group to the space, what our objectives are over the course of the next 12 weeks and what areas we are looking to co-create together.
Vida and Dave take the floor. Vida’s expert knowledge in making space for people to be able to think differently about themselves, their current and past situations and the world and people around them proves that collectively and individually, the group’s lives can be transformed.
Discussions about the hostel come up: The food is s**t. There’s a struggle with trusting caseworkers to do what the residents feel they need from them to move forward. The food is really, really s**t. They feel stuck. Motionless. The word anxiety gets a lot of airtime.
Dave and Vida listen. We all listen.
Switching around the narrative is at the heart of Vida and Dave’s work. By focusing and expending energy on what isn’t wanted in a situation, so much energy gets spent on what isn’t going right, that the brain cannot distinguish between ‘want’ and ‘doesn’t want’: it simply sees what input it’s being fed time and time again. As a group, we do some grounding exercises where we focus on the ‘want’ and how it can be achieved.
By no means is this easy and it doesn’t go down easy, but after a couple of hours, the general mood of the group clearly shifts. Hope has entered the room.
We talk about noticing and acknowledging when anxiety comes up, rather than shunning it away. It’s there for a reason and by noticing and acknowledging, it dampens the blow that anxiety can often bring. Individuals in the room breathe a sigh of relief.
In the second half of the session, Jason and Sabella go through Pivot’s commitments to the cohort, including: keeping to our promises, being understanding and supporting the group til the end. The participants then co-create their own contract to one another: to be empathetic, be respectful and ensure clear and effective communication throughout the programme, to name but a few.
We explore what tangible employment support Pivot can provide over the 12 weeks, and go through a few different options - where are your gaps? Where can we put our skill-set to the best use? They decide on the following:
- Unions and knowing your worker’s rights
- Interview preparation
- Writing cover letters
The session is brought to a close by doing a group grounding - tuning into the contact that the soles of the feet have with the floor, the contact of backs on chairs, the soft rising and falling of the breath…