Gerald Dowden


I have substantial inter-cultural experience, personally and professionally. In London, I exist in a multi-ethnic context, working with people from many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds - I thrive on this vital exchange. As a trainer I specialise in generic youth work training, diversity and identity, participation and citizenship, international youth exchange work, detached youth work, English-language for youth work and competence-based training and assessment. I've been very pr

Gerald Dowden has 3 references for past work as a trainer and added 3 tools to the SALTO Toolbox.

Gerald Dowden

Contact details

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Current occupation

Training & Accreditation Officer Richmond Youth Service - also Freelance Trainer

Work experience

There are several strands to my present work.
1) Inter-cultural learning - several of my most recent training course deliveries have focussed on diversity, intercultural communication and learning - this was at the heart of the SALTO "Inclusion & Diversity" modules, for which I was part of the trainer design and delivery team (and co-writer and editor of the SALTO ID booklet - "Ideas for Inclusion & Diversity"), in Belgium, Sweden and the Czech Republic (2005-6) - I was the senior trainer in the team which delivered the Intercultural Learning module of the CoE/SALTO "European Citizenship Education" in the UK (2006) - "The Power of Trust" explored cultural identity, involving participants from Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Romania and the UK (2004) - "EuroMed Youth Exchanges as a New Arena of Learning" (Tunisia 2003) looked at the positive aspects as well as barriers to EuroMed exchanges and involved participants from 12 countires.
2) Peer-trainer training - I have developed and delivered a series of training courses which support peer education and the development of junior trainers - "Going for a Burton", a Connect Youth/Leargas partnership course, was aimed at young adult leaders, providing them with additional skills to operate as junior trainers - I have also designed and delivered three training courses in the UK, "Peer Trainers Training" (2004-6) for a group of young adults (18-25), the Tooting X:Change, who have considerable youth exchange expertise and have begun delivering training to other young people on youth exchange issues - I trained on "Les Jeunes en tant que Formateurs (Young People as Peer Educators)" in Italy, 2002.
3) Youth Work - I am presently delivering a generic part-time youth worker training course in London, which I designed, developed and registered as an NVQ (a nationally-accredited Vocational Qualification) - the course I designed and delivered in Senegal and for which I am writing the training module (a 9-day course) was a basic youth work course - I was a member of the training team delivering a basic youth work course in a London youth service (Wandsworth) for 3 years - I am now employed to standardise and have youth work courses validated (i.e achieve recognition as an official qualification), which involves the design of course curriculum, training programme and assessment procedures.
4) English language for youth workers - I have delivered two courses in Austria (2004/5).

Available downloads:

Educational pathway

As a learner -
1) As a participant on the Training of Trainers for European Youth Projects IV Course (Interkulturelles Zentrum)2003/04 - this enabled me to undertake a thorough professional audit of my experience, strengths and weaknesses, in the field of non-formal education at an international level.
2) As a trainee on the TESLA (Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults) RSA course in 1995 - I was able to adapt my non-formal training approach and methodology to the delivery of English language teaching - I learnt how to use role-play and simulation as a key language learning method (and was able to go on and design and develop an English language vocational qualification course at the British Refugee Council with my new competence).
3) As a trainee on the Certificate in Youth & Community Studies course (Thames Polytechnic 1987-89), through which I gained my community & youth work professional qualification - this was my introduction to youth work as a training methodology and to a range of non-formal training methods.
As a trainer -
1) The course I delivered (as co-trainer) in Senegal, West Africa, was an enriching and deeply-educational experience for me. This was a basic youth work course for participants who had substantial experience of work in the field but little expertise in non-formal delivery - this was a true professional challenge for me. I gained hugely from the participants, most of whom were volunteers (NGOs and the "associative" sector) and many of whom were working in very difficult contexts (for example HIV/Aids/sexual health) - their engagement and commitment to learning was both exemplary and very moving.
2) The course I delivered in London with two colleagues from the Training of Trainers course, with participants from 5 different countries, went deeper into issues of culture, identity and ethnicity than any course with which Im had previously been involved (as a trainer). We used a variety of non-formal methods, from simulation to outdoor "team" activities, which really broke down barriers and achieved a level of trust (the course title - "The Power of Trust") enabling participants to look at their own prejudice and assumptions in a positive way.
3) The Switch-On (youth exchanges for beginners) courses which we deliver for young adults (16+) from London have reached significant numbers of disadvantaged/excluded/at- risk young people. We use a venue in France so there is an experience of international travel. The most rewarding outcome of these courses is when the least confident young people participate in a group presentation of their simulated "hosting" programme on the last day - this is a great achievement for individuals who have never spoken in front of a group of people before.

Fields of training expertise

  • (expert) Citizenship Education
  • (expert) Coaching & Mentoring
  • (intermediate) Communication Skills
  • (expert) Diversity & Anti-Racism
  • (expert) Equal Opportunities
  • (expert) Evaluation & Assessment
  • (intermediate) Group Dynamics & Motivation
  • (expert) Intercultural Learning
  • (expert) International Youth Work
  • (intermediate) Organizational Management
  • (intermediate) Outdoor & Experiential Training
  • (advanced) People Management & Cooperation
  • (intermediate) Personal Development & Empowerment
  • (advanced) Project Management
  • (expert) Recognition of NFLearning
  • (expert) Social Inclusion & Exclusion
  • (expert) Training of Trainers
  • (advanced) Valorisation of Projects (DEOR)
  • (expert) Youth Exchanges
  • (expert) Youth Participation & Initiatives
  • (expert) Youth Policy
  • (expert) Youth Worker Training

Knowledge about institutions and programmes

  • (expert) Erasmus+ (KA1) Youth Exchanges
  • (expert) Erasmus+ (KA1) Training & Networking
  • (expert) Erasmus+ (KA2) Transnational Youth Initiatives
  • (intermediate) Erasmus+ (KA2) Strategic Partnerships
  • (intermediate) Erasmus+ (KA2) Capacity Building (other countries in the World)
  • (intermediate) Erasmus+ (KA3) Youth Policy Meetings
  • (beginner) Erasmus+ (lifelong learning, non-youth)
  • (intermediate) Youth Partnership CoE-COM
  • (intermediate) International Youth Structures

Working with specific target groups

  • (intermediate) Children
  • (intermediate) Families
  • (expert) Intercultural Teams
  • (expert) Marginalized & Excluded Youth
  • (intermediate) Men's Issues & Groups
  • (advanced) Minorities

Experience with specific geographical regions

  • (advanced) Africa
  • (intermediate) Asia
  • (intermediate) Eastern Europe and Caucasus
  • (intermediate) Euro-Mediterranean Co-operation
  • (advanced) European Cooperation
  • (intermediate) South East Europe

Other skills

Competence-based Training & Assessment : English Language for YOUTH Programme work : Detached Youth Work : Identity & Citizenship : YOUTH Programme Programme-Building

Language Skills

  • (fluent) English
  • (good) French
  • (beginner) German

Trainer references

  • Peer Training 1.2

    Awaiting validation (requested 2018-02-08)
    The training activity took place
    in the training activity took place in N Ireland
    organised by organised by UK National Agency
    March 2009
  • EYE Opener

    Validated (2022-05-09)
    The training activity took place
    in Holland
    organised by EYE Opener Trainer Team
    7th - 11th September 2011
    Reference person

    Jo Claeys

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  • Bi-Tri-Multi (BTM) Network Training Courses

    Awaiting validation (requested 2021-09-04)
    The training activity took place
    in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, UK
    organised by SALTO Training & Cooperation RC & NA
    From 2004 to Present

Tools contributed by the trainer

  • Equiano

    Topics adressed: Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Learning, Personal Development

  • Influences on My Values and Visions

    Topics adressed: Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Learning, Personal Development

  • (Ine)Quality Street

    Topics adressed: Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Learning, European Citizenship

Find more training tools in the SALTO Toolbox for training.

This profile was last modified on 2017-05-23

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