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Personal Supports Network Update

April 30, 2009

groupfacilitationWe’ve been having a great time, as usual, traveling to Prince George and meeting some interesting folks there, and then working a bit more locally.    In May we are presenting at “You Gotta Have Friends” and in June we are traveling to Victoria, Terrace and Squamish.    Susan and I accomplished one of our dreams – we created and presented a curriculum on Personal Support Network Facilitation specifically designed for staff.   We’ve loved working with the mixed groups that come to our presentations but found that sometimes specific groups want something less general;  we’ve facilitated a couple of sessions with self-advocates and have hugely enjoyed these.   We were recently approached about the possiblity of developing a day (or two) long curriculum for self-advocates and this has been another dream that we hope to see come true.    We’ve done shorter workshops throughout the project but would love to really focus on this topic and help people do some planning around how to lead their own “friends” initiatives. 

However, this was our first group of 30 staff and we were able to focus on developing and practising skills that they could use in their work.    We were particularly grateful to have Jamie Powers, a parent, as a guest-speaker.   If your agency would like us to do a similar workshop for your staff, please let us know.   We are currently working on a curriculum for parents and family members as well, and really looking forward to that.   You can write us about any of these, or about hosting one of our one day workshops, at    We are planning to host another workshop for staff in the autumn, if you are interested in attending.  

On another front, we’re working with David Pitonyak to sponsor him to come and do a day long presentation in Vancouver, as well as help us build our provincial “dream team” of folks dedicated to Personal Support Network faciliation.   

Here is some recent feedback from our Personal Support Network Facilitation for Community Support Workers workshop:

– The visual and verbal aspects of the presentation – visual cues helped me remember what we discussed

-Individuals’ personal stories of building personal networks for others and for themselves

– To speak openly with people who ordinarily you wouldn’t have conversations with about ways to support our folks that are new, inclusive, with opportunities to brainstorm, problem solve

– The interaction and exchange of ideas

– The mix of lecture, networking and learning (problem solving exercise) tools. Excellent guest speaker.

– Relaxed, fun and informative

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2009 6:25 pm

    Hi there
    My name is M.G. Walker, I attended your workshop in Nanaimo at the lawn bowling club. You guys were great. I am the facilitator of a very unique drop in club house called “Pathways”. We started out with about 12 members we now have over 35.
    All of us are attending the BCACL AGM in Victoria. We will be staying at the Queen Victoria hotel. All the members are very excited and looking forward to the trip.
    We also have a gentleman who is in the running for the Vancouver island caucus position. He is all ready to go with his speach all prepared.
    See you there in June.
    I look forward into introducing you to some really great people.
    Bye for now
    M.G. Walker

  2. May 2, 2009 8:00 am

    Hi MG – thanks! looking forward to meeting your folks. we’re doing a session and there are a few other great sessions going on, one with Shelley Nessman and Barb Good on (something like) “what are the parts of a good life” that I’m looking forward to doing some graphic facilitation for, and another by our old friend Jay Townsend and a new project he and some folks have been workin on in Comox, “the friendship project.”


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