For me, the programme was a great way to reflect and look at the ways I already work in my local community. I got the chance to reevaluate what has worked for me, and what the main difficulties have been, and combined with learning about new tools and strategies, it become something helpful. Alongside new ideas and perspectives, something that really benefitted me was hearing lines of thought that I had already been on shared by others and explored further. It was encouraging to see what had worked for others, and of course we got the chance to share our knowledge with each-other and gain from each-other’s varied experiences. 
One of the biggest topics for me was talking about how best to engage with communities and groups, and how some are viewed as ‘difficult’ to engage with. It’s a thing I’d heard before, but it never quite sat well with me. How it’s the groups who are described as difficult to work or engage with, when it’s often the strategy from those who are trying to engage that doesn’t quite for the situation. It’s something that’s come up a lot with my work at Coalville CAN, where we try and invite as many different groups as possible, cultures and communities to get involved. 
For me, it was very relevant as I’m working on establishing a monthly meet for the LGBT+ Community in Coalville. Even as a gay man, my lived experience, and my perspective on what a group should or would look like is so different to what others might be looking for. 
So, the sessions really prompted me to ask whose who came to the group what else they’d like to see in the future, what other offers would be interested in, and how to reach out and connect with those people. It’s made a big difference as we re-evaluate the group after the six-month mark of its existence, and I’m excited to see where we can take it. 
Harry Jerome 
Project Support/Secretary 
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