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Training peer facilitators

Within the SLIC II project a course was developed to train peer facilitators to run SLIC-workshops in their local communities using the SLIC-handbook as a guide. Based on research in the first project phase, the peer facilitator training was developed. It includes sessions on the role of the peer faciliator,  how to run the individual workshop activities as well as modules on communication skills, facilitation techniques and dealing with difficult situations.

Each project partner carried out a

  • Six-day peer-facilitator training, training more than 60 older people as peer facilitators from March to April 2012.
  • The peer facilitators then had the opportunity to practically trial the workshops themselves. 12 trial workshops with 121 participants were carried out in the 5 partner countries by the peer facilitators in groups of 2-4.

The peer facilitator training was focussed on different target groups in the different countries: The training ran in Germany focussed on older migrants and in Italy it included volunteers who had been abroad. In Hungary, participants had some volunteer experience but were not used to leading groups or speaking in public. In Austria and Scotland many participants had volunteer experience, were active in different organisations and partly had some training experience.

transnational peer facilitator meeting took place in Budapest in June 2012. It served to exchange and disseminate the experiences made. 23 peer facilitators from 4 countries had the possibility to discuss the training and the trial workshops. The video about the meeting in Budapest can be accessed here.

The benefits for peer facilitator trainees were that they acquired new skills and their participation led to increased self-confidence and enabled trainees to realise their potential.
Finally, by running SLIC Workshops, peer facilitators had the opportunity to activate and encourage their peers to make a positive difference in their communities.

The benefit for organisations in running SLIC Workshops and training peer facilitators torun them was that they could strengthen community ties, improve their networking in their communities and contribute to active ageing within their local setting.