Case Study: Clear, Concise & Purposeful Training is Key for The REACCH Project
The Challenges at REACCH:
- Training that is suitable for staff, volunteers and members
- Learning material that is clear, feels ‘purposeful’ and is not overwhelming
- To equip members with skills and knowledge that they can use when seeking external employment or supported experience on site
- To equip staff with compliance based knowledge
- Training courses that provide clear information in an accessible format and for a variety of learning abilities
- Training that adds to the important structure and routine for members
A Background on The REACCH Project
Part of REACCH South West, The REACCH Project is an employability and life skills social enterprise, based on a family-run farm in East Cornwall. The initiative provides support for young people and adults with Autism and Learning Difficulties.
We spoke to Mary Pittman, the founder of the organisation who also lives on the site with her husband. In this case study we look at how High Speed Training courses kept both members and staff fulfilled, especially during a tough time of change.
How Did You Identify the Need For Online Training?
Mary tells us she was looking for a learning environment that would be accessible for her members with Autism and Learning Difficulties. Members have previously struggled to attend mainstream education, so the courses needed to be informative yet manageable.
We needed an education tool that was more flexible than the heavily timetabled nature of mainstream education. Online training fits this bill perfectly.
Similarly, there are a number of compliance requirements for the staff and volunteers who work on the site. For Mary, it was essential to find a training provider who could cater to both needs.
How Has High Speed Training Helped Your Organisation?
We chose High Speed Training because there is a good variety of accessible courses at a range of levels. The tiered levels of certain courses, such as Food Hygiene, are perfect for the members of REACCH as starting out at level 1 enables them to get a feel for the content and format of the course. When they are familiar with this, it becomes much easier for our members to feel confident to try other courses or higher levels because they know what’s coming.
Mary emphasises how the familiarity and structure of High Speed Training’s courses have helped the organisation adjust to a tricky period of change, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen all but essential work carried out from home.
Change can be very unsettling for our members so we were apprehensive as we all transitioned to working from home and providing virtual support to our members. However, the High Speed Training courses have been a great continuation tool in the current situation.
This is a testament to the course content and format.
Mary informs us that for many of her members, when it comes to learning, a sense of ‘purpose’ and meaningful activity is incredibly important.
High Speed Training courses give specific skills. We have members taking courses such as Minute Taking, Time Management and PA & Secretarial Skills which can enable them to work towards gaining a position in an office. Similarly, we use courses such as Manual Handling and Ladder Safety for any members who help out on our farm. The fact that they are learning something tangible that they can go out and apply immediately gives our members a big sense of accomplishment.
It is also important that the courses can engage the members for short periods of time so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
High Speed Training courses are achievable within a reasonable amount of time that doesn’t feel too daunting. It also helps that you can dip in and out of them so that the members can take breaks when they need.
An Inclusive Approach
Mary continues to say that both her staff and volunteers also take a variety of High Speed Training courses, such as Food Hygiene, to ensure that any food prepared on site is done so safely.
The members love the fact that they do the same courses as everyone else. It helps them to feel like they are part of the team. Where the courses are more challenging, a member of staff or volunteer will take the course and then relay the information back to the member. It promotes equality which is a core value of REACCH.
What Can You Learn From REACCH?
- Promote equality. If you use High Speed Training courses in your care facility, think about how you can get both your service users and staff involved. It might be that your staff can go through the courses with the service user either individually or as part of a group. This can be done as another activity that promotes learning, development and equality.
- Let people go at their own pace. We all have different learning abilities and concentration levels. Here at High Speed Training, we cater for that with our easy to pause courses and manageable completion time frames.
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