This is a reference for Trisha Wilkinson

International Trainers Pool Cooperation Meeting

The training activity took place
in Online
organised by NA the Netherlands
11-13 Februray 2021

Aims & objectives

The Trainer Pools Meeting took place online via zoom from Thursday 11 February to Sunday 13 February 2021.
The meeting was hosted by the Dutch National Agency in cooperation with National Agencies from Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania. This partnership is supporting the meeting of trainer pools to exchange, inspire and connect under a common practice. It is not designed in the structure of a training course to directly develop concrete skills, but rather a facilitated hosted space to ensure the exchanging of best practice.
Co-creating and holding a safe space to facilitate our empowerment and resilience
Developing a common understanding of the community of practice and collaboration between NA’s and trainers.
Increasing the quality of trainers’ work through reflection and exchange of good practices

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

Trainer pools from Ireland, the Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania were present.
The international trainers meeting forms part of a three-year strategic partnership between the participating National Agencies of Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. This final year of the three year project had the intention of hosting this meeting in a residential setting in Warsaw, Poland in 1-4 April 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted upon this original meeting, restricting travel and gatherings and the meeting was cancelled.
Following this, a decision was made to move the meeting to an online setting for February 2021, with the support of the Dutch National Agency hosting.

Training methods used & main activities

As this meeting was carried out online, the methods used promoted engagement, connection and the sharing of best practice between participants.
Online tools used included hosting the meeting via Zoom, the creation of an accompanying platform hosted by Ruzuku. During the online meeting, methods such as break out rooms to host discussions, Google jamboard and google slides were used to harness outcomes from participants. We also included the use of padlet and mentimeter for sharing and evaluating. The programme allowed time for inputs by participants through the creation of an Open Space Agenda.

Outcomes of the activity

Overall, based on feedback received from participants through the evaluation form and from the meeting facilitators evaluation, the objectives of the meeting were reached. The meeting contributed to the empowerment and resilience of the trainers. The meeting also offered a space for exchange of best practice. Through the use of the Open Agenda space there was an atmosphere of empowerment created as participants were invited to co-create the session by suggesting topics. This in turn gave an opportunity for participants to share reflections and good practices on topics that were of interest to them leading to them hosting the particular Open Agenda session with the responsibility of reporting back on the outcomes of their session. In addition the sessions on day 3 had a specific focus on Self Care and supporting trainers to individually reflect on their self care practices, prompting activities they could plan for to support their resilience in the future.
As 2020-2021 has affected all of our working practices due to Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting provided a special focus for participants to share their methods of building resilience, sharing the online tools and resources used.
This meeting was special as it involved the introduction of two new trainer pools, from Latvia and Lithuania. It was so important to develop a common understanding of the community of practice between all participants. Time was dedicated to this aspect on the first evening through sharing how each trainer pool works and also creating a mentimeter word cloud sharing the common understanding for participants on what they felt a community of practice represents.
The whole meeting in general was a trial of building and understanding a community of practice, as there was a lot of focus for getting to know one another, exchanging people in smaller groups, learning together, collecting shared documents and invitations for sharing. The approach was very diverse to make everyone feel welcomed and engage different learning styles: both sharing concerns and favourite music was possible. Some games and light energisers were balancing talks on subject matter topics, and in general it was both giving and taking opportunity and constant feedback towards each aspect of the meeting was incorporated throughout all time.
The quality of trainers' work was enhanced and increased by allowing participants to share experiences, share resources, discuss training approaches and address issues that were of relevance to them throughout the full duration of the meeting. The meeting content was created with a foundation of sharing, learning, inspiring and developing trainers within the pools in an international environment.
Ruzuku Platform Link :

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My role was as facilitator. I co-designed the content for the meeting. I contributed to building the content for the Ruzuku platform. I co-facilitated the process of delivery via zoom. I co-wrote the final report and liaised with the hosting National Agency in the Netherlands.

I worked on this training for 3 days as a full time trainer.

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