This is a reference for Leila Usmani

Really Including Inclusion

The training activity took place
in Worcester, UK
organised by Consilium Development and Training / Leila Usmani
Reference person

Sheila Smith

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Aims & objectives

The idea for this project came from 12 years experience of working with trainers and youth workers on a local and international level. Through co-delivering a Short Term EVS focused on young people from background of fewer opportunities, it has been highlighted that more information knowledge and experience is needed by youth workers to include participants with special needs and/or fewer opportunities in mainstream projects. Many organisations have expressed a desire to further their inclusion strategies. By empowering participants of this programme with the skills, knowledge, resources & support to in turn understand and ensure inclusion of a variety of people in their work now and in the future, we hoped to increase their employability, as this understanding and ability to make reasonable adjustments utilises a number of transferable soft skills, such as communication, working with people from different backgrounds, teamwork, initiative & project management, as well as the fact that across Europe charities & NGOs are making a lot more effort to engage in inclusion initiatives on varying levels, employing experienced young people to undertake these projects. As well as the personal & professional benefit to the participants & the young people they go on to support, the training course will promote solidarity between nations by giving them the chance to engage in intercultural dialogue & identify common values & issues, in turn developing the international capacity of the participating organisations, allowing them to foster relationships with other similar organisations across Europe. The activities created a greater awareness within the community of the causes & consequences of social exclusion & the support available, & participants strengthened their bond with the community, as well as learning about how to engage with cross sectorial cooperation, locally, nationally & on a European level. The course also looked at past & present efforts in different areas, with the aim that topics of focus will complement policy reform at some level. From reviewing the profile of people attending projects in the UK and within YiA/E+ funded opportunities abroad, it has been noted that the vast majority still do not fall into the band of participants with Special Needs or from Backgrounds of Fewer Opportunities. We can see a number of organisations and projects that are specifically aimed at young people whose circumstances allow them to fall into these profiles, however in general, their opportunities are limited to these precise projects, and only occasionally are they able to access and attend projects aimed at the wider youth population.

We decided to run this project with the hope of meeting the following objectives overall…
- training participants in the key areas related to preparation and delivery of local and international youth projects to ensure inclusion and accessibility
- exchanging best practices and useful tools contributing to successful inclusion of people facing barriers in projects
- fostering European cooperation in the youth field and supporting the development of
sustainable partnerships for the future joint projects between partner promoters
- discovering the potential of Erasmus+ Programme in creating accessible quality and value-based learning mobilities for young people and youth workers.

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

Target Group – Who are we running this project for?
Although the people coming to the Training Course will be Youth Workers, we expect the wider target group to be the young people themselves that the participants work with in their local communities. This can be through schools, youth clubs, sports activities, arts activities, community groups – anything! Young people from all backgrounds have a lot to give and learn, and we hope that by learning during this course the participants will use their learning and facilitate increased access to their projects activities and services for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

Participants –
- Be youth workers, leader’s coordinators, facilitators and trainers from organisations that have mission and objectives that are related to young people.
- Have an idea about what prevents some young people from getting involved in projects and have a desire to open their projects further
- Understand the importance of equality, inclusion and anti-discrimination
- Be open to meeting new people from different countries and spending an intense period of time together, motivated and dedicated to learn and contribute to the training course
- Be willing and ready to share the outcomes of the training course with their young people, their local region and further if possible, by undertaking certain dissemination activities
- Some may come with more direct experience in one or more areas and others with less specific experiences, wishing to deepen their knowledge and open to changing their attitudes

The training course involved 35 participants, of which three were staff, 2 from the UK and one from Germany. Other participants included 2 from Bulgaria, 2 from Croatia, 4 from Czech Republic, 2 from Greece, 3 from italy, 2 from Lithuania, 2 from Macedonia, 2 from Malta, 3 from Slovenia, one of whom was originally from Eritrea, 3 from Spain, 3 from Turkey and 2 from the UK, one of whom was originally from Mauritius.

Training methods used & main activities

Having designed the entire training course in collabboration with Sheial Smith, co-trainer, we utilised a lot of different methods to allow for people with varying learning styles and levels of English to absorb knowledge skills and attitudes. These, in brief, included:
-Speed networking
- Elevator pitches
- Secret Friend
-Many name games and icebreakers including zombies, sheet name game, letter market, ad others
- Interactive presentations using flipcharts and pens
- Whole group teambuilding how tall is angel?
- Fishbowl
- Storytelling, imagination games
- Trapdoor team game
- Though showers and poster creations to allow for exchange of ideas and information.
- PowerPoint presentations
- Role plays and simulation games for skills and empathy development
- Puzzles and creative activities
- Participant presentations
- Plenary discussions for sharing and exchange of views, thoughts, ideas, etc.
- Work in small groups for the sake of sharing and developing cooperation, ideas and knowledge.
- Regular reflective processes using art, music, meditation, peer-reflection and Youthpass tools

Outcomes of the activity

As the project is based on the premise of non-formal education, self-assessment and learning,
different methods of evaluation were implemented, to ensure that all participants and stakeholders felt they have been given adequate space and opportunity to contribute their feedback.
- Pre-activity evaluation – Prior to the activity taking place, through the application stage and on the first day of the TC, participants were asked to contribute their expectations and areas of knowledge and skills they can contribute and wish to develop. Additionally all participants were asked to comment on any considerations regarding their learning that should be taken so as to ensure all have the opportunity to engage fully in the activities of the course.
- Post-activity evaluation – carried out with both participants (see below) and also partner promoters and target groups where possible, we undertook a survey where partners can comment on the implementation of learning post-activity and the effects this has had on their work/staff members /young people, as well as finding out if the desired affects of promoting inclusion of a wider range of people in all activities has been achieved by undertaking surveys with target groups and of projects being designed.
Each day participants were facilitated through personal and group reflection and feedback time. These sessions allowed participants to think about their learning in an informal manner, and share this to consider the learning and development of others, thereby aiding their understanding of the impact of such projects. These reflections looked at positives and negatives as well as contributing ideas as to how things can be done differently during the rest of the course and in the future.
On the last day of the TC participants spent an extended period of time evaluating the activity as a whole This included looking at their learning within the framework of a YouthPass, utilising the TREE from the start of the week. In addition, we allowed for a final written evaluation where they recorded their answers to specific questions related to the content but also practicalities of the course and projects as a whole, and the staff involved, all of which fed in to the improvement of future projects planned.
Each day the training team and organising team met to review any feedback given by
participants and to provide their own feedback on how the day / TC has gone so far. Considerations
and adjustments were undertaken, and notes made to ensure that comments are not lost and can be used for the development of future course and projects.

It was felt that all objectives were met on the project by the participants as well as the specific learning outcomes. We are still in the process of writing up the qualitative data and shall update this section once complete.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

For this Training Course I functioned as the Project Coordinator as well as Trainer. In this sense, I wrote the funding application for the project, undertook all of the recruitment, designed the training course, co-delivered the sessions, managed the Mobility Tool and YouthPasses, and completed the Final Report.

I worked on this training for 6 days as a full time trainer.

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