My name is Laila, and I am a mentor on the ROSE project.
A ROSE mentor is someone with experience of a subject who builds relationships with others and helps them understand what Sexual Exploitation is. We deliver training to professionals and presentations to carers and young adults with learning disabilities. We try to give them the knowledge to help them spot the signs of Sexual Exploitation and the skills to stay safe. I have been a mentor for 18 months and started my training in 2019.
What difference has Covid made to the project?
We have had to adapt and move to online presentations which has been a learning curve for all of us. Some of us have been able to deliver from home but a few mentors still need support to access through the Reach day centres. The groups and the ROSE team have experienced different levels of technical issues.
I have really missed the human contact of group delivery and when on Zoom sessions people can end up talking over each other and this can lead to quieter people being overlooked. Face to face delivery allows everyone to have their turn at their level and you can easily spot who is struggling and needs extra support from the mentors. On Zoom it is hard to read people’s facial expressions and body language, which as a mentor I need to use to spot who is struggling. The positive is that we can offer the training and presentations to a larger audience who are further away. Due to the lockdowns, we have also experienced a decline in schools and colleges being able to run group sessions online with the right support in place for learners with learning disabilities.
What have you done recently on the ROSE project?
At the last ROSE Zoom session I was voted by the other ROSE mentors to be the next Steering group representative and my first Steering group meeting is in March. I attend the monthly ROSE catch up Zoom sessions. I was also involved in delivering to professionals via a webinar ran by Dr Clare Bates. In December I was part of the team who presented to Newark college.
In the future I am looking forward to getting back into presenting the project face-to-face alongside my peers.
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