Sunshine and teamwork on the UK programme

In June we held our fourth UK programme and ventured out of London for the first time!  The programme was held at Longridge Centre in Marlow, a beautiful venue by the river Thames with lots of green space and a great room for workshops.  We were joined by 13 participants, mainly from Slough and Brent.  The sun shone for almost the entirety of the two days, and with the participants having just finished their various exams, there was an atmosphere of relaxed happiness, a wonderful setting for friendships to blossom and lots of fun (as well as serious discussions!) to be had.

The topics we explored included our cultural backgrounds and identities, religion, moral issues such as legalisation of drugs, stereotypes, our communities, and ideas for community projects which we are now supporting participants to put into effect.

JoU alumni Ramsha and Aisha were our volunteer facilitators, and together they facilitated the hardest session of all; the infamous “Where Do You Stand?” They worked brilliantly as a team, coming up with a series of interesting and topical statements to be discussed (with no easy answers), making sure everyone’s voices were heard and time keeping impeccably!

If I had only one word to sum up the programme, it would have to be “teamwork,” as the whole programme wouldn’t have been possible without it.  Aisha and Ramsha worked together to deliver their session, relying on and supporting each other with planning and delivery.  The participants had to trust each other in order to share their stories and opinions, and create a safe atmosphere to do that.  And of course, building a 12 foot tower of crates beneath you (especially when you’re scared of heights!) is actually impossible when you’re not working in a team.  Especially as it comes tumbling down – although you know it’s the rope that will catch your fall, it’s your fellow teammates you find yourself holding onto for support!


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