TLP Participant Story: Aodhfionn McCambridge-Geraghty, North Belfast TLP Winter 2021
He completed the course alongside participants from NB Housing Association, Green Party, Department of Justice, Open Door Project, Soul Space, The National Lottery Community Fund, Newington Housing Association,Multi-Ethnic Sports and Cultures NI (MSCNI) and Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
"Be bold and be brave. We all want to see Belfast being better, so why wouldn’t anyone want to help?"
Introduction and Motivation
- Before signing up to the programme, were you aware of any other similar programmes in your area?
I wasn’t aware of any courses like this, but my mum had taken part in the same course previously and that’s when I found out about it. She reminded me that it was available, and I decided to take part in it. I didn’t have any idea of any courses which involved leadership prior to this.
- What motivated you to sign up to this particular programme over any others?
I was curious and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. But I trusted my mum which told me that I should do something. I was also interested in the course, and the motivation for learning and growth.
Experience and Learning
- What topics stood out for you?
When you see something like a fence or a pile or rubbish and think someone should deal with that. Motivating you to find out who it is you should deal with to address the issue. Leadership roles and how to be a good leader. A good leader needs to be fluid and be sensitive to others and their differences. It is important to remember how you interact with people to ensure that you are a good leader, and that it can’t just be one role. Dynamic leadership is vital. I also liked the topic of different leadership styles and how you encompass them.
- What are you likely to ‘take back’ to your life/work in the community?
An inspiration to create events and also the knowledge that I can create events. Community resources, relationships and connections with other people. Who knows what will come out of us knowing each other? I feel like a previously unknown avenue is now accessible to me; I can be more involved and make things happen.
- How would you summarise your experience of the programme in 1 sentence or in 3 words?
- Is there anything you could or would do now that you wouldn’t have felt able to do before?
You can get into a head-space where you see these organisations as others and feel like they're inaccessible. in the group conversation (for the event) when it came to asking for extra funding, we feel that can go to any organisation as individuals and just say we want to put this on. Be bold and be brave. We all want to see Belfast being better, so why wouldn’t anyone want to help?
I feel validated in my place in Belfast as a community leader. We are all community leaders. We just have to lead, create things and do things to make use of the power that we have. I think it is important to take action in our communities. We know what we want to see in the community and so do others within it. Also, it makes it richer for us and for other people because that’s when the world gets fleshed out when we’re doing things and meeting people.
- Are there people/agencies you feel able to talk to and work with now that you weren’t before?
NICVA, the Community Development department of Belfast City Council. I would like to get involved with them. I feel I can talk to other members of the group and create networking opportunities.
- What difference will this make to how you engage in your interface area?
It’s a whole new creative avenue and an art form because you can look at things and have this idea which could envision their potential. I am going to be looking out for things to do and events that I can create. Come up with ways to bring purpose and also have fun.
- What difference will the course make to the interface area overall? Especially in terms of relationships, collaboration and increased understanding in the area?
The event in Ligoniel will give us an opportunity to meet people that we have never had a chance to connect with before. I am going to flesh out North Belfast in my eyes. The people who attend the event are probably going to have nice memories and experience of that festival. They will hopefully make new friends and new connections. I hope the same for myself.
Another difference is that you might come to understand the people once you get to meet them. The people from that area may interact with others in their community but have never had the opportunity to meet before. They will also be able to meet those outsides of their own community.
- Which issues in particular do you think you might get involved in?
One of the main issues I would like to address is the lack of free events for people to attend. I believe that we need little things to help us and to feel happy. I am also interested in looking at well-being. Building inspiration, energy, and happiness within the community.
The issue of a need for dynamic leadership.
- How will you apply new ways of working, ideas or approaches?
- I liked the format of the experience when the group was planning the event and enjoyed the process of working together. We were bouncing ideas around and I liked the excitement it brought. The project workshop was a useful method for this. I will be more collaborative and creative in my approach; I believe you can be creative and that it is limitless.
- The ideas of leadership styles. The inspiration and the knowledge that we can be creative with putting projects together.
- Spaces activity – Implementation Space, Process Design Space, Problem Space, Vision Space, Solution Space under the Collaboration for Transformation learning. How this can help with the planning process.
- To what extent do you think these changes would have occurred in the absence of this course? i.e., would you have developed these skills and be motivated to do something new anyway?
I can’t say no because if an idea comes, then I might have followed or pursued and created that idea. Or an idea might have come, and I might not have realised that I had the resources to do it. 'I might not have had that encouragement to actualise that idea otherwise.
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