The Building Resilient Communities in further education project was a programme supported by the Welsh government to help six colleges across South Wales (Bridgend College; Coleg Gwent; The College Merthyr Tydfil; St David’s Catholic Sixth Form College; Coleg y Cymoedd; and Cardiff and Vale College) to develop resilience among both learners and staff. The Building Resilient Communities in FE project aimed to:
“Develop personal strategies to improve resilience and self-regulation, focusing on approaches to growth mind-set, coaching and behaviours. To develop self-belief, personal responsibility and resilience by helping learners to understand and believe in themselves and their strengths and to make a positive contribution to their community.”
The BelievePerform Train the Trainer Resilience programme was designed to engage tutors with a series of content and resources and to facilitate the confident and consistent use of these in the creation of personal resilience plans. The programme also aimed to up-skill tutors in their knowledge of mental health so that they feel more confident and comfortable to talk about it and work on it collaboratively. The programme not only provided people with practical tools but also sought to educate tutors about different topics so that they have a deeper understanding of well-being.
Given the evolving role that many staff members experience in FE (e.g., increasing pastoral and caring responsibilities) it appeared as though this programme was well-timed with participants indicating the ongoing benefits that it could bring to others working in the sector who need to be able to be resilient while helping others to deal with considerable life demands.
As a result of the training I’ve got a much better understanding of how to work with others to develop their resilience and how to manage my own responses to the stress that I experience. I was really inspired having these workshops. I remember at first I was thinking ‘is this going to be like another kind of CPD that I really don’t need’ but I remember the first session myself and the other participants were kind of all messaging each other saying how we felt really energized afterwards. I felt really motivated.”