Circles of Support: who’s in yours & how to strengthen it

Circles of Support: who’s in yours & how to strengthen it
A new workshop for practitioners from Dr Mel McCree
Now booking for 2019 – download the flyer

Circles of Support workshop McCree

Short description
Often we feel alone in our struggle to make good stuff happen. There is help on hand, if only we could find it. This generous and reflective exploration of your circles of support will give you a better sense of your allies, location, community, where you can call help in from and why.
We will problem-solve challenges and barriers to reaching out and developing our work.
Leave with the secure knowledge of who you can call on and an action plan ready to use.

Long description
Marketing and self-promotion don’t always come easily to us practitioners. Asking for help can also a challenge. Often, support on the ground is hard to find and we can feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. Support from other practitioners is welcome, yet who do we know in our local area where a stronger relationship would bring mutual benefit? For some of us, it may be colleagues in a setting, for others, it may be other local service providers, landowners, councillors, informal parent networks etc.

The workshop rationale is grounded and motivated by the facilitator’s academic research (McCree, 2014) that shows how forest school practitioners are often isolated, yet they and their practice flourishes when supported in their communities. Equally, their session participants are better able to access land and outdoor opportunities when a culture is shared and co-created between forest school and other local provision (McCree et al, 2018). From a multi-species perspective, habitats and wildlife corridors are also supported by this systemic culture change. Clearly there are advantages to us all in growing friends and influencing people. Come along and take a practical look at how you can more deeply, satisfyingly and successfully be in your place in connection with others. Prepare to leave inspired and motivated to strengthen your circle of support.

Why you should experience this training
An essential resource for supporting your work, staying sane and happy.
Leave with the secure knowledge of your support list, an action plan, clear aims and purposes.
Free introduction to regional forest school / outdoor play / learning networks in your area.
Empowers participants to take time, reflect and reach out to others, strengthening their networks
Return to the ‘real world’ inspired with new tools for action.
Direct benefits for participants and additional benefits to settings in the increased provision, levels of quality and job satisfaction that rise from practitioner development.
This facilitator knows the importance of ‘developing professionally’ being FUN and SOCIABLE. Essential stuff. Learning need never be boring – don’t let anyone fool you otherwise.

Workshop logistics
This workshop can be tailored to your particular group needs or focus. For example, for a local network to increase collaborative opportunity, for newly qualified practitioners in need of establishing new provision, or look at cross-cutting partnership working in urban planning and local authority contexts.
Timing – 1 ½ to 2 hours. A longer half day or day version is also available.
Participants – 10— 20 people
Space requirement – Any group space, indoor or outdoor.
Places to sit and spread out some large bits of paper, as well as walk and talk.
Most important thing – away from loud noise.
A big enough space for all participants to sit in a circle, see each other and move around.
Fee / Expenses – £350 per day or £250 half day plus travel and accommodation.

About me
I am a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Bath Spa University and Director of Free Range Creativity. My background spans over 25 years experiences of outdoor arts, play and learning, ranging from founding the Uk’s first environmental education theatre company to internationally renowned academic expertise on forest school, outdoor creativity and eco-social justices. I co-founded the South West Forest School network, knowing from experience and research that group cooperation and support has essential value. In my consultancy, I support practitioners to set up and develop their work outdoors. I love and use creative, fair, democratic and feral approaches. I’m always open to experimentation and welcome a challenge!