Training is an important part of Swindon Young People's Empowerment Programme (SYEP) and a growing number of professionals including Teaching Assistants, Learning Mentors and Youth Development workers have been trained. Tranquillity and Discovery Zones are now running in several primary and secondary schools in Swindon, in an increasing number of youth centres and in a variety of youth centred organisations outside. Exciting partnerships have developed with several agencies serving the interests of young people, and training contracts arranged to buy in the services of SYEP. Through these means SYEP has come to be known as a complementary agency for enabling statutory service providers to deliver aspects of their services.
Helping to Overcome Challenges
Helping young people to develop a sense of self worth and overcome challenges is a process requiring SYEP facilitators to clear up disempowering, debilitating, commonly held misconceptions about human reality, and encourage, support, motivate and inspire them to become attracted to their higher nature. Far from accepting movement from one's lower nature to one's higher nature as a naturally occurring phase in child development, facilitators realise that this is a process requiring specific insights, understandings and skills for all who aspire to help young people. Successful facilitators are aware that they, themselves, need to be committed to this process of movement to their higher nature. SYEP training also provides for this.
SYEP facilitator training is delivered over three days with ongoing support for a full academic year. The format of facilitator training follows that of SYEP sessions for young people using the Tranquillity Zone and the Discovery Zone. Trainees are exposed to and experience all the materials, techniques and methods to deliver SYEP sessions and are introduced to the evaluative procedures that chart the progress of young people participating. Above all, however, the training is focused on eighteen key elements for nurturing spiritual well being and are elaborated in the course hand-book. Experience in delivering SYEP sessions, particularly with dispirited, low self-esteem youngsters, has proven that successful facilitating is not merely dependent on materials, methods and techniques, but on an empowering relationship between all those involved. A passage from the course hand-book follows which asks trainee facilitators to be open to try something new:
"For this facilitating approach to be successful key elements have been identified as essential for all facilitators to understand and then apply. Some of these key elements will be known already but may be expressed in a way that brings greater importance to their acquisition. Some may be welcomed as they stimulate new thoughts and insights into enabling relationships that are fulfilling and enhance a sense of well being and self- esteem. Other key elements may be personally challenging as one struggles with concepts and statements that could be regarded as of no practical use or falling outside the accepted ‘domain’ of education. All that course producers request is to consider what is being offered in this facilitator training course with an open and unbiased mind and a willingness to ‘try’ something new. This should be coupled with confidence in the knowledge that the Swindon Youth Empowerment Programme is a proven course with hundreds of troubled youth at risk having greatly benefited from its programmes".
Here are the eighteen elements in nurturing spiritual well being
1. LIGHT SIDE, DARK SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE.
2. INESTIMABLE POTENTIAL OF EVERY HUMAN BEING.
3. GOOD QUALITIES OR VIRTUES.
4. WELL BEING AND HAPPINESS.
7. PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT IN TRANSFORMATION.
8. THE POWER OF GOOD EXAMPLE.
9. THE POWER OF RADIANCE.
10. FOCUS ON THE HIGHER NATURE.
11. POSITIVE AND UPLIFTING WORDS.
12. POSITIVE RESPONSES TO NEGATIVES.
13. CREATING A COHESIVE AND EMPOWERING ATMOSPHERE
14. CALLING ON/REFERRING TO A HIGHER POWER.
15. CONSCIOUS GROWTH/EVOLUTION.
16. CHALLENGES TO GROWTH/EVOLUTION.
17. EMPOWERING FACTOR OF SERVICE AND DEEDS.
18. LISTENING AND EDIFYING.