Regional Training Course in Manchester: Ready to Connect

By | July 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm | European Events | Tags: , , ,

From the 2nd until the 4th of May, AEGEE-Manchester organised a Regional Training Course (RTC). As its name says, this RTC was ready to connect different members of the network to learn, share experiences and work together. We interviewed Bryn French, organiser, and Katharina Lawall, trainer, to find out more about it.

The AEGEEan: How did you come up with the idea of organising a Regional Training Course?
20150503_192125Bryn: AEGEE is really starting to grow in the UK and so we needed some training in order to help our antennas grow in the right direction. Organising a Regional Training Course was an opportunity to bring together different members from across the network to share our knowledge and experiences. As Manchester is a fairly new local it gave us a project to work towards to and helps us fulfill antenna criteria in order to be upgraded from Contact Antenna to Antenna as soon as possible.

What were the best moments in organising the event?20150503_203546
The highlight of the event for me was our final dinner. Through Pablo’s close attention to the pennies throughout the event we were able to splash out a bit extra and enjoy a fantastic meal at a local restaurant on the Curry Mile, one of Manchester’s specialities. Treating everyone to an indulgent meal was a real pleasure and it was great to see the friendships we had created over the course of the weekend.

What were the difficult moments in organising the event?
At one stage before the event we did not have accommodation, and we did not have a place to do the training. We were seriously concerned about how we were going to do it all. Fortunately things worked out, so do not panic and never give up!
However, the accommodation was on the other side of the city from the university training rooms and so I personally found transport the most stressful thing to organise. We were able to travel in style, getting taxis everywhere, but it took a lot of coordination.

sessionsHow did the RTC go? Was it productive?

The RTC was extremely productive as we achieved a number of the aims. Firstly, Manchester showed that we can organise a European event and show our participants a good time. Secondly, the trainers were enthusiastic and informative and developed a good ethos in the group. Thirdly, the participants were all able to contribute something positive and also gain something to take away from the event. Finally, communication and collaboration between antennas was established and improved.

Can you brief us shortly on your programme?
The programme focused on how to motivate our members and get more people to join AEGEE. We had training sessions on teamwork, communication, leadership and public relations. For the social programme we were able to host a city tour and show our participants two different night life scenes in Manchester

What is your overall impression of the RTC?20150503_180443
Katharina: I really enjoyed the RTC and was impressed by how well and with how much energy the team from Manchester organised everything for us, even though they are were not so many. It showed me that so much is possible if lots of enthusiastic people work together. I was also really impressed with our participants who were so enthusiastic and eager to learn even though we had very packed training days and, as in all good AEGEE events, very little sleep.

What was the structure and thematic of the training sessions?
We wanted to design a training that would respond to what all the different UK locals present at the training course needed the most right now: a big focus was therefore on Human Resources and recruitment, but also included training sessions on Public Relations, Teambuilding, Leadership and communication in AEGEE. My co-trainer Maria Arends and me prepared and then facilitated the sessions mostly together which was great!

What was the biggest challenge you encountered during the event?
20150502_123410The biggest challenge for us was to design trainings which were appealing and valuable to all the participants as they were a real mix from experienced AEGEE oldies to very new members. On the other hand, I think this actually turned out to be one of our greatest assets as it allowed very dynamic sharing and learning between the participants!

Anything else you would like to add?
Just that it was a pleasure to give my first training course in Manchester and that I thouroughly enjoyed every bit of it. AEGEE in the UK is alive and kicking and I hope Manchester will invite us over for a next event very soon.

Written by Lia Tuska, AEGEE-Sofia/Thessaloniki

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