Listening and Learning in Lockdown: a learning and evaluation update from VOICES
By Sharon Sharman, Learning and Evaluation Manager, VOICES
Since 2015 the VOICES citywide learning programme has provided a huge number of regular learning opportunities that are FREE to access for services across Stoke-on-Trent who are working to support people experiencing multiple needs. An external evaluator has recently conducted an evaluation of the learning programme which is soon to be published; this will be distributed to contacts and be available through the VOICES website. Within this independent report there is a focus on learning activities throughout 2019. We were blown away to realise that, during this period, we had delivered to more than 2000 attendees from more than 30 organisations.
As part of the evaluation a range of services were contacted by the evaluator to participate in telephone interviews that have contributed to the findings; we would like to say thanks to those involved as well as to all the individuals who have engaged with opportunities since the start of our project who provide feedback at each event. Your views are crucial to the development of the learning programme and we aim to include ideas for events based on needs identified from across the city.
The impact of Covid 19 resulted in the learning programme being postponed since March this year. Since then we have been working with our internal teams and specialist facilitators to become familiar with the delivery of online sessions and creating bespoke content that will better suit sessions of short periods; we are reducing the time of the sessions in consideration of attendees needing to engage remotely so as not to have to sit at a PC for long periods. The good news is that our learning programme will begin again from August 2020. The first courses available will be added to our website soon. Should you have suggestions and / or identified learning needs please contact us directly to ensure that we can, as a city, continue to coproduce this valued resource.
Hoping you all remain safe and well,