Trauma and Change with Stoke on Trent's Festival of Practice “I absolutely loved this training!" Fay

Greetings one and all,

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of taking part in Stoke on Trent City Council’s Festival of Practice. The local authority very kindly commissioned me to launch my new course, ‘Making the Connections - Trauma and Change.’ Stoke Council is going above and beyond to equip it's staff with robust skills and a compassionate approach. This learning and development opportunity has been a co-production between myself and various people with lived experience across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. The aim of the session is to equip professionals with the skills to work compassionately with people who may have experienced traumatic life experiences and are now living with trauma.

I have spent a great deal of time (blimey – can it really be nine months!) researching the subject and also listening to the stories of people who have experienced traumatic experiences and lived with the resulting trauma. I created the training resources with their voices ringing loud in my head. Especially the voices of Charlotte and Ryan. Two very inspirational people who are genuine, honest, authentic and survivors of their traumatic experiences. What I found incredibly rewarding was the learners’ reactions to Charlotte and Ryan’s films.

My hope is that the course will equip professionals and services with a trauma informed approach to residents of Stoke on Trent and beyond. We can do things differently; we can do things better. As you can see from the learner comments below, the course received 100% unanimous positive feedback. I was blown away by the reaction to the training.

“Steve’s natural and easy manner made the training interesting; he is obviously very knowledgeable and the use of “real people” as case studies made this all the more real and for me, easier to understand, remember and hopefully use in the future. As Steve was so open and honest, I feel it allowed others to say what they felt/thought rather than in some training, where people say what they think the trainer wants to hear. The use of a workbook and putting us in groups for discussion with different people kept the momentum going, kept us interested and alert. It was fascinating listening to his experiences. I cannot wait to attend more training with Steve. Thank you, Steve, I love learning from people who can walk the walk as much as they talk the talk.”


“I absolutely loved this training! It made me think about how people’s life’s can be affected by trauma in different ways. I also really liked the way we thought about what was helpful to people while they are dealing with trauma in their lives. I liked that we went into different groups to have discussions and looking at other people perspectives and views. The videos of Ryan and Charlotte were very insightful and helped me to understand the way they felt and what changes they made. They are both amazing and very strong people.”


“Very informative and engaging training session. I enjoyed the approach Steven took in delivering the information and the activities. It was a good mix of ‘traditional’ learning and activity with the rest of the group. I enjoyed the videos that were shared and relating this back to practice.”


“This training was hugely relevant to my area of business, working with survivors of abuse. I really enjoyed the course and found the stories incredibly inspiring. This should be essential training for any practitioners involved with vulnerable service users. Thank you very much!”


“Steven’s delivery held my attention, and he was able to include all that were on the training. It was very interactive and wonderful to be able to interact and discuss with a number of different practitioners and share thoughts, feels and views. Steven is a very natural and extremely knowledgeable and passionate trainer, and he was able to speak about real life experiences that again brought the training alive and felt more relatable. Steven really cares about the service users he works with and kept us on track and we were able to ask questions and interact at any time. Thank you for a very insightful learning experience!”


“Really good informative training which was really interesting. Volunteers used shared really powerful inspirational stories. It was a really interactive and engaging training day that I really enjoyed.”


“I absolutely loved how human your training was and how you use empowerment, and collaboration and take the time to listen to people, which I feel has gone out of the work we deliver as its time limited. Sharing small snippets of our lives can make a hell of a difference to people we work with which in your training outlines the trust letting them retell their story and them not being seen as a label. I hate confirmation bias attitudes. Will defiantly be booking on more of your training and would love to have a catch up with you sometime.”


“Really informative and using real people to tell their own stories was especially powerful.”


“Very Informative, enjoyed the group work.”


“The case studies were interesting, personal, nuanced and helped me to think, visualise and understand the person and their story. Compassionate Curiosity task was more challenging than it initially seemed, which was good to practice and learn from. The FACES exercise helped me to remember we are skilled professionals who are drawing on a lot of tools in difficult situations, and those situations maybe dynamic and changing and how we adapt to them.”


“I thought this training was really interesting and informative and I thought the videos with Ryan and Charlotte were brilliant and really inspirational. I would just have liked more time in some of the breakout rooms as we ran out of time to complete some of the tasks so could this be a 2 day training course as I feel I could have said so much more than time allowed. I think the training was really engaging and feel this would have been good in a classroom setting so we could all engage better together.”