No Train, No Gain
We were thrilled to host our first ever joint training event this September, bringing together student leaders, student workers and chaplaincy assistants for two days exploring leadership, discipleship and community building. Taking place at St Francis Hall, Birmingham from 8-9 September, members of the SCM team led workshops, worship sessions and a lively panel discussion on inclusion.
“By combining our leadership training for group leaders, church workers and chaplaincy assistants, this year’s event was a fantastic opportunity to share ideas, hone our skills, and build stronger links between student groups, churches and chaplaincies across Britain,” said Hilary Topp, SCM’s National Coordinator. “As freshers’ weeks begin, it’s crucial that we offer a really supportive welcome to all new students and demonstrate the love of God to people from all backgrounds.”
Covering everything from conflict resolution and team roles, to social media, outreach, and event planning, people shared their experiences and ideas in a varied mix of workshops. We started with a discussion on why faith matters and explored how we can better nurture each other’s faiths – an important aspect to consider when it comes to leadership.
Being more Inclusive
On Thursday afternoon, we held a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion, asking how we can celebrate our diversity and be inclusive of everyone. Panellists included Caitlin Wakefield, a Masters student at the University of Glasgow and SCM’s LGBTQI+ rep on General Council and Taylor Driggers, a PhD student at Glasgow and international students rep for SCM. Caitlin and Taylor both spoke about the need to get informed and not rely on lazy assumptions about people from different backgrounds.
Feylyn Lewis, a student at the University of Birmingham, also spoke about the need to be intentional when creating spaces, reminding us that diversity doesn’t just happen. We also heard from Raj Bharath Patta, a PhD student at the University of Manchester and former General Secretary of SCM India, on welcoming international students: “Don’t judge me by my language, but receive me as I am,” he said.
We concluded the course with a worship and commissioning service, led by participants who had all helped to plan the service as part of a worship planning session on Thursday.
“The diversity panel, exploring what it means to be diverse and inclusive, challenged us to get educated and be welcoming,” said Rach Collins, SCM’s new North West Regional Development Worker, who attended the training. “We also had a chance to plan an event, lead worship, and grow in our discipleship. It was a really fulfilling two days.”
Tags: student work trainingeswttraininggroup leader