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Facilitator's Focus

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Taran Erhart-Bains

Role: Lead Facilitator

2021 In Focus

Working in the role of a facilitator at Open Lens Media during the past year has been an extremely rewarding but also challenging experience due to the changing circumstances of delivering programmes in a Covid-secure environment. Putting on courses and activities post-lockdown has presented different challenges to the way we run sessions and made us have to adapt our approach accordingly. This has meant considering social distancing, sanitisation and mask wearing when operating in external areas such as community centres and residential environments.

Beginning the year with the River’s House group, we ran a 10-week video production programme and worked with young people from the Walsall area who had varying needs and learning abilities. In response, we had to use different learning methods as a facilitation team in order to get over the same information and make sure what we were delivering was inclusive to all participants involved. To achieve this, we prepared the correct materials for the session and tailored aspects of the content to the individual's learning style.

Running our holiday programmes during the summer time gave us the chance as a team to work with young people from various backgrounds across the regions of Birmingham, Sandwell and Walsall. Facilitating at places such as The Lighthouse Young People’s Centre gave a lot of variety to our roles through working with younger age groups and providing a fun learning environment for them to engage with over the summer holidays.

Towards the end of the year, we also delivered our Film & Podcasting Production course to a group of young people in the Sandwell area. This group brought a lot of ideas that they were passionate about to the sessions and used the medium of podcasting to express their views and opinions. Considering that podcast and audio recording are more technical areas to explain, these sessions required us to work as an effective team. As facilitators we all have our own strengths and areas of knowledge and this allowed the opportunity for different members of the team to lead aspects of the session and successfully communicate certain points to the group.

Once finishing the course, this group had effectively learnt how to use the technical equipment and develop their transferable skills by taking a concept through to completion and create a podcast episode of their choice.

In summary, it has been a thoroughly rewarding experience being part of the facilitation team over the past year and working with a range of diverse young people from across the region. When reflecting on 2021 at Open Lens Media, I feel we have carried out meaningful work in the community and have hopefully given our groups the direction they may need in order to develop their passion or move onto the next steps beyond the programme.



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