2022: The year of the Skillshare sessions

2022: The year of the Skillshare sessions

Image from John Gallon’s skillshare on BSL with peer mentor Mairi. Monday Magic enjoying learning from John as he signed ‘Eternal Flame’ and ‘Reach for the Stars’.

Have you heard? We’re expanding Monday Magic this year with monthly skillshare sessions led by you, the members! 

Our member Aaron had the fantastic idea of providing a space for members to share their skills, alongside the Monday Magic sessions. Aaron believes that a skillshare is  “a chance to come along to share and learn from other members. The benefits are that the members can share their wisdom using their leadership skills and further their knowledge from other members.” 

Across February and March, we saw members work with Ambassadors to plan and deliver six skillshare segments including:

  • diversity
  • self-travel
  • public speaking
  • active listening
  • using your voice 
  • growing an idea

In April and May these short segments were then developed into longer workshops, such as member John leading a session around self travel. He said, “to be able to speak to other members about my self-travel and how I plan journeys was good, I enjoyed explaining to others with learning disabilities as might give them tips and help them. It made me feel good that I can maybe help others out too.”

“I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it because I found it co-operative and engaging” – member, Josh

Both Natalie and Aaron talked to us about how skillshares are helping to change social attitudes towards  disability and skills, “because the public has always had a rigid mindset around disabled people in terms of what they are capable of, but today we need to change the public eye and end the stigma for good as people with disabilities can and do offer a lot more!” 

What is the future of skillshares? 

Members of Monday Magic have reported that they found learning from their peers ‘inspiring’, ‘interesting’ and ‘eye-opening’. The format of the sessions have meant that 83.3% of members are now more comfortable in sharing their skills and 100% feel, after the sessions, that their skills are more valuable.  

The future is creative – whether it is sharing online, in person, through art, through speech or through the written word – we want to see you share your skills with us! There have been suggestions to continue skillshares in the same format but with follow up sessions from another member who took something from the original session and how they used it in their own life. There have been suggestions for skillshares to have their own separate zoom events so members can have more time to go in depth. Members are keen to bring new people in, to shift the perspective around what is a ‘skill’ and to give people’s voices a chance to really SHINE.

Natalie said it was important for herself to share something they’re good at, because ‘as disabled people we have the tendency to focus on what we’re bad at’ but sharing skills gave her an opportunity to shift into a more positive mindset and feel proud. 

What do you think? What are your skills – tell us, come and share with us, we’d love to learn from you!

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