How have you managed with moving ROSE to online delivery?
Struggled at first but I think I have finally got there in the end. Laila, one of the other mentors, had a lot of patience and has helped me work through my tech difficulties. Not only can I now hear everyone I can see them and they can see me. The ROSE team started monthly mentor Zoom sessions from April 2020, which helped all the mentors stay in touch and be involved with how the project moved forward during Covid-19. Even though it is good that the ROSE project can be delivered both face-to-face and online, I definitely prefer face-to-face delivery as it is great to interact with people whilst increasing awareness around the dangers of Sexual Exploitation. With online delivery I feel I struggle to engage at my full potential with the learners and professionals, as I cannot read the body language of the attendees easily. But, being on line has been a positive for the ROSE project, as the project has been able to reach out to lots of different people for example professionals in Lincolnshire, day service in Nottingham, social workers and, recently, carers.
How have you looked after your wellbeing over the last year?
I started back at Reach Flower Pod Newark a few months ago which was a relief as being outside in the fresh air, seeing other people and being surrounded by nature definitely supports my emotional wellbeing. Keeping in contact with my friends and having weekly chats with my ROSE colleagues helped me stay connected with the team. I was nervous meeting up with the ROSE team at the picnic in the park in June after so many changes and lockdowns. But once there it was a fabulous day and get together. I had really missed the human touches of being with people for example the banter, laughter and fun shared with the other mentors. It felt strange to see Kay and Bridget face-to-face again but lovely as they have stayed in touch throughout the lockdowns.
How has being a ROSE mentor helped you?
I feel part of a team and my confidence has really grown. I never thought I would be able to sit with Reach charity trustees explaining what the ROSE project is about and answering questions. I have also enjoyed being part of the ROSE steering group, where I felt my voice was heard and people present were interested in what I had to say and achieved. I have more friends after joining the ROSE project and have more confidence around others.
The future looks rosy as the team have face-to-face bookings in the diary for October. I am excited and definitely will be volunteering to support these presentations.
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