Sussex SU Volunteer Training Weekend

In March 2017 we trained a wonderful bunch of volunteers from Sussex Students’ Union. We were very proud to see SUSU taking over the Community Organiser Volunteer Programme from Brighton SU and delighted to lead the training at Laughton Lodge again.

The Training Location

Laughton Lodge is a special place! It is a co-housing community set up as a non-profit company where all lease holders are directors of the company. We are 70 adults and children, living in 21 houses and sharing 23 acres of fabulous Sussex meadowland – once a rural, residential hospital. They also have 11,000 square feet of communal space in the form of a community centre for their own use and for occasional and regular rental. The community centre comprises offices, large hall, training room, sun lounge, music room, games and playrooms, dining and cooking facilities and guest rooms. We were hosted in these rooms and in spare rooms with the families that live on site. The venue was chosen to provide us with a place to learn that was thought provoking, what does it mean to chose your home for the community around it?

Sussex Students enjoying lunch at Laughton Lodge

Take a look at the Lodge’s website for details!

The Team

Every time we recruited community organisers as part of the national community organiser programme we got a really great mesh of cultures, backgrounds and ages and this time was no different! Everyone was drawn to apply because of their love for people and interest in finding out more about those they live and study near.

The Training

This was our third year running this training in this location but we don’t always get such good weather! We did a lot of our activities outside in the fields around the lodge and of course ate out there too.

For the first time we used forum theatre at this training weekend and it was really useful. In previous years people had fed back to us that they wanted to practice more before going out doorknocking for the first time so throughout the training we set up scenarios that emulated real life examples and the volunteers stepped in and out of the theatre and characters to conquer their fears and hone new skills.

Listening exercise

Next Steps ….

Now we pass over to volunteers and staff at Sussex SU as they start door knocking in the Triangle area of Brighton (between Lewes Road and Upper Lewes Road) with the support of local residents.

Excited to see what happens!

#Community #Students #organising #studentsunion #lewes #brighton #letscoorganise

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