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Welcome to the Building Circles Training page.

Louise Worgan

Louise Worgan - Project Development & Training Manager

Jo Sutherst                                                                                                 Lydia Winder

Jo Sutherst - Lead Trainer/Mentor                                                               Lydia Winder - Project Administrator

At the heart of all the work we do, Building Circles works to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities, ensuring that everyone can be safe and confident in their friendships, relationships, and in social environments. We are passionate about ensuring that everyone we work with has the knowledge and education they need to be safe wherever they go. Some years ago we were asked by Gloucestershire County Council to write and deliver Sexual Abuse Prevention Training to adults with learning disabilities across the county and we have been working hard since then to continue to deliver effective and empowering training in many areas. One of the many unique aspects about the training is that it is peer led so we employ adults with learning disabilities to help us deliver the training. Some of our co-trainers are experts by experience which offers a unique perspective to the training and we are very proud to be able to offer valuable, paid work experience to our co-trainers.

We currently offer training in the following areas:

Sexual Abuse Prevention Training - This training is designed to empower people to make good decisions about their bodies and relationships. At the end of each training session, individuals should be able to identify which areas of their bodies are private, understand the difference between a good and a bad touch, know what is acceptable in a relationship, understand the law and what to do if something happens to them that they do not like. Every training session is completely bespoke and modified to meet the needs of the individual(s) being trained. Training can be delivered to small groups or on a one to one basis and at a level to suit the individual(s) being trained.

Basic Sex Education Training - Developed as a result of demand for this training, we are proud to be able to offer basic sex education to individuals or groups of individuals with learning disabilities. This course is designed both for people who may have missed out on or not fully understood basic sex education at school as well as those wanting more information before they embark on a relationship or before they have the sexual abuse prevention training with Building Circles. The session is designed to educate in a light hearted manner and covers all aspects of basic sex education from the mechanics of sex to puberty and how the body changes to contraception, sexual orientation and healthy relationships. Again, each session is bespoke and can be differentiated to meet the needs of the individuals being trained.

Relationship Training - What is a relationship? What is the difference between a friendship and a relationship? What is acceptable in a relationship? All of these areas are covered in this short training package which is designed for people who may struggle with understanding exactly what it means to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or struggle with boundaries and personal space. We teach people what a healthy relationship should look like and what to do if things go wrong in a relationship as well as discussing what is and what is not acceptable in a friendship and a relationship. Every package is bespoke and can be designed to cover any particular issues an individual or group may have.

Public/Private Training - This training teaches individuals what areas are private and which are public and what behaviour is acceptable in each of these areas. The training was designed mainly to tackle individual behaviours in public areas and is a fun and interactive course which enables individuals to discover what they can and cannot do in different places.

Financial Abuse Prevention Training - We were asked to develop this training to cover the serious and increasing issue of financial abuse among adults with learning disabilities. In the training, we teach people how to look after their money, be that in their home or when out and about. We also tackle the issue of financial abuse and what this may look like and what we can do to prevent it happening to us as well as tackling the more difficult subject of "mate crime" and what they can do to stop this happening and where to go for help if it does happen. Each session is bespoke and uses case studies and role play to teach individuals how to recognise abuse and what could have been done to prevent it. We also cover areas such as keeping your bank card and PIN number safe for those who use them. Each session is completely bespoke and can be delivered to tackle any specific problems someone may have encountered and show then what to do to prevent this happening again.

Internet Safety Training - Designed for individuals who use the internet or who use a mobile phone, this training teaches people how to use the internet successfully and safely. Individuals will learn how to recognise if a website is safe and secure to use, how to maye safe payments online and what information is ok to share online and what is not. We cover the tricky subject of "sexting" and sharing information online or via text and what the consequences of this may be. Each training package can incorporate any specific issues a person may be having online.

Hate Crime/ Discrimination Prevention Training - This training package is designed to help individuals identify what a hate crime is as well as ensuring that people do not become either the victim of or the perpetrator of hate crime. We cover diversity and why we should celebrate our differences rather than discriminate. Every training session is bespoke.

Self-Advocacy Training - Would you like to be able to make your opinions count? Are you fed up with not getting your voice heard? Often we feel that decisions are being made for us by staff, parents or medical professionals and those decisions may not be what we want for our future. It is so important that adults with learning disabilities can make themselves heard and be able and confident to speak up for themselves. Our self-advocacy training explains why it is important to speak up for ourselves and how this could help change our future. We teach people why they should self-advocate, where they can self-advocate, what they should do to make sure their opinion is heard and where they could go wrong and what to do if this does happen as well as ensuring that they know who they could turn to for help if necessary. Each training session is bespoke and can involve some role play activities to clarify what has been learned in the session. The individual should feel confident at the end of the session to stand up for themselves and make their voice heard.

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Care Staff Training - Did you know that Building Circles can offer staff training sessions to cover any of the areas listed above? We work with staff to discuss with them how they can deliver the best possible safeguarding experience for the people they work with. We have staff training available in the following areas:

Abuse Prevention Staff Training - how to help the people we work with and how to prevent them from being the victims of abuse

Abuse Awareness/ Safeguarding Staff Training - covering all areas of abuse, how to recognise the signs of abuse, how we can help to prevent abuse and what to do if we suspect that abuse is taking place.

How to have those difficult conversations - how can we as staff members discuss difficult subjects with the people we work with? We work with groups of staff to discuss the difficulties they feel they would/do have in discussing tricky subjects such as abuse with the people they work with and we work with staff to try and overcome these difficulties so they can help to keep the people they work with safe

University Lectures - We are proud to have worked with the University of Gloucestershire to deliver lectures to their social work students on working with adults with learning disabilities and the importance of understanding & recognising abuse in adults with learning disabilities. We deliver 3 hour lectures on financial abuse awareness and sexual abuse awareness and take one of our co-trainers who is an expert by experience to share their story and to discuss how social workers and key workers could have handled the situation more effectively.

Learning Disability awareness training for staff - We have successfully been delivering staff training to other organisations as well as those who work directly caring for those with learning disabilities. We deliver awareness training to staff in organisations who may be wanting to employ people with learning disabilities or to those who may have people with LD using their facilities to share with them tips and tricks to help make everyone's experience a positive one in their workplace.

Schools Anti-Bullying Project - We have recently been awarded further part funding to run our Anti-Hate Crime work in schools, where we have taken a group of people with learning disabilities into local secondary schools to talk about their experiences of being bullied by school children outside in their local communities and on public transport. The experiences ranged from being called names on a local bus to being beaten black and blue by a large group of school children and having the experience filmed and posted onto a social media site. Again this work gives employment to people with learning disabilities but ultimately is to encourage community inclusion and to keep vulnerable people safe from harm.

The majority of our training packages can be offered free of charge or for a very small charge.

If you or your organisation would like further information on any of our training packages, please contact training@buildingcircles.org.uk or call us on 01452 617346


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