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My Working Day: Training and Development Officer

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I have ME and limited mobility so I work from home to avoid the stress of travelling and so I can more easily manage my condition.  An additional bonus is the view from my spare-room window.  I’m not native to Yorkshire and I find the countryside breathtakingly beautiful, so having a view helps me to feel more cheerful even on a dreary day.

I usually start my day with a mindfulness exercise and log on to my laptop around 8 or 8.30am.

My first job is generally to check my emails and our training inbox to see if we have any new enquiries or anything that needs dealing with immediately.

If I am delivering an online training session, I will check everything is prepared and log on ready to greet the attendees over zoom.  Although much of our training is delivered online, the workshops are very interactive and include quizzes, discussion, and small group activities using the breakout rooms.  It’s a lot to juggle, but many years’ experience teaching in FE Colleges means I am very familiar with these kinds of challenges.

A typical training session could include information about what domestic abuse is, how it is defined under the new Domestic Abuse Act, the complex dynamics of an abusive relationship, what signs to look out for and how to support someone who discloses or who you suspect might be in an abusive relationship.  I could also be covering the impact of trauma, trauma-informed practice, or Female Genital Mutilation.  Each training session is different, as I adapt the content, activities and examples I use depending on the specific roles of those attending.  It might be Social Workers one day, Solicitors the next and third-sector support staff another!  It’s never boring and I always hope I have learned something myself from the contributions of those I’m training.  Every day is definitely a school day in my household.

After a session, I may need to check-in with an attendee who made a personal disclosure, or who found some of the content triggering or distressing. This is always a possibility with this kind of training, so I offer direct support as well as signposting to relevant services for anyone who wants it.

Afternoons are more likely to be for admin or I may have a meeting with an employer or organisation wanting to book training.  Much of the rest of my time is spent developing the bespoke sessions, ensuring I reflect the specific requirements of the organisation commissioning it.  I might also spend time reading recent research or reports on various aspects of domestic abuse legislation and practice, to ensure I am always up-to-date with the latest developments.

I will usually finish work around 4.30pm.  As many of us found during lockdown, it can be harder to keep a separation between work and home when you working and living in the same space, but maintaining clear boundaries is essential for our well-being, so I always ensure my laptop and phone are switched off and put away until my next working day.

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