Eight residents were inspired to step out of their comfort zone during a Confidence and Motivation workshop organised by Plymouth Community Homes in partnership with Active Plus.
“I looked forward to coming out of my home for the first time in years.”
“Today I have benefited from working on my strength rather than concentrating on my weaknesses.”
“This has helped me go against the grain of what I know and has given me the confidence to know that it’s ok to fail sometimes, try again and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Those were just some of the comments made by PCH residents as individual presentations were made in the company of the Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth and his Consort at an event to mark the end of the successful scheme.
Rewind six weeks and it was a very different story as Dave Street, Lead Instructor for Active Plus, explains: “At the beginning of the course, all the team members were understandably apprehensive about what to expect. We’ve worked with them over the course of six weeks to empower everyone here to grow in confidence and resilience.
We use teambuilding and problem-solving activities to help people look at challenges differently, regain their confidence and regenerate a sense of purpose and belonging.
“If I had told them at the start, that by the end of the course they would be standing up in front of a group of people – including the Deputy Lord Mayor - to talk about what they’ve learned and how they’re going to apply it to their own lives, they’d have laughed me out of the room.
“Everyone involved has graduated the course with flying colours, and we’d like to thank the Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Cllr Chris Penberthy, and Consort, Mr Darren Hartley, who gladly accepted our invitation and presented certificates to all our participants. It was nice to hear the group talk about their time on the course, and this puts a little bit of gentle pressure on them to excel.”
Residents are planning to use their new-found confidence going forward, with some looking to get into work, while for others it’s given them the chance to get out and meet new people and make friends.
Ashleigh Knowles, PCH’s Resident Learning Co-ordinator who helped deliver the course, said: “It has been an absolute joy delivering the course. The first week everyone was a bit nervous and quiet but each week their confidence grew. They shared their interests, such as singing and playing guitar, for the group, and had personal achievements, for example getting in touch with family members for the first time in 20 years. It’s been a privilege to see the change in everyone.”
During the last presentation of the day, resident Pamela summed up the course perfectly in her own words: “On week one I was terrified about walking into a room of strangers. Now I’m a little sad that the course is coming to an end. I didn’t think this would work over six sessions, but I was wrong. I feel so much better, more in control and comfortable speaking with and meeting new people.”
PCH offers a variety of free courses to support and upskill residents, including training in first aid, computer skills and cookery. To be on the mailing list for the latest courses, visit our Learn For Free page on our website.