“Training maketh the Practitioner”
But what kind of training? We recognise that there are aspects to the experience of imprisonment that are unique and this is borne out in much research – including our own Voices of Families Affected by Imprisonment.
One of the unique aspects of Bedford Row – which the founders were very committed to – is sharing power. That is, our work is a synergy of the lived experience of people affected by imprisonment and the professional boundaries necessary to effect good work. In this respect, two-way knowledge flow is very important and is embedded in our day-to-day work.
Such ethos informs all our training courses.
We believe that the best and most effective way to address the difficult issue of family involvement in crime and imprisonment which causes so much distress is to facilitate responsible, compassionate, and caring people from communities most affected by imprisonment to utilise their wisdom, insight, and strength to bring about long-term change.
Since 2009 we have designed and delivered courses in Family Support. We are now in the final semester of our 4th edition of such a course. This course is due to finish in June 2023. Many of the graduates of previous Courses now work in communities around Limerick and some are in leadership positions.
We are hopeful that funding will be forthcoming to provide further training in Bedford Row in 2023 and beyond.
Here are some quotes from students who have completed training in Bedford Row:
‘Learning requires and encourages engagement of the whole self’
‘I can be ok about not being right and be honest and open about it’
‘Our humanity is our greatest tool in this work’
‘I am inspired by other Group members, their honesty, integrity, and life stories’
‘Being included has opened my eyes to those who are not’
‘Compassion is a signal of common humanity amongst all people’
‘The value of the elastic, dynamic type of learning is spectacular’
‘The potential of the whole is huge when everyone brings a part’
‘When safe to learn it was a lot easier to retain more information than I ever would normally’
‘I grew up in a world of addiction and imprisonment and the self-awareness on the Course enables me to use my journey to help others’
‘It’s a privilege to be part of a Group where people’s life experiences inspire and support others in self-discovery’
‘Courses like this should be properly funded because they offer a way of making a big difference to a person and family’s life’
Our training focuses on the emotional as well as the practical, with a high level of attention to both. There is a lot of awareness-raising included and people learn from each other throughout. Some of the learning involves how best to work collaboratively with other agencies from which we have a lot to learn and to whom we can also impart knowledge that we have garnered over the years.
If you are interested in participating in the training, providing funding, or be involved in any way, please email the Project at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Larry at email@example.com.