Meet the Learning Facilitators: from Glasgow, Birmingham and London

I am thrilled to be announcing three new members of the Enrol Yourself team!

Our Learning Facilitators are joining us in Glasgow, Birmingham and London — where they’ll be bringing the Learning Marathon to their local communities.

If you’re new to the idea of the Learning Marathon, it’s a six month peer-led learning accelerator for adults, designed to fit alongside work. Groups of 10–12 pool their skills, resources, networks and creativity to multiply their professional and personal development. It’s a structure that helps you take learning into your own hands!

Over the past 18 month I’ve facilitated two Marathons in London — whilst participating in both. I’ve worked closely with 20 participants, each exploring a learning question of great personal significance. You can read about some of these projects here. Learning questions have led participants to change careers, start or build businesses, and find new jobs or new clients: tangible stuff! But questions have also led people to explore their challenges with mental health, to grow in confidence, to feel more creative, to find their sense of purpose and start new and (we hope!) enduring friendships. These outcomes are less measurable, which in my opinion makes them all the more important, precisely because they are harder to quantify and therefore easier to overlook.

I’m about to embark on my third Learning Marathon (applications are open). This time I’ll be guiding a new set of participants — whilst supporting the three new facilitators. We will form a mini facilitator’s peer group, sharing our experiences to support one another with challenges as they arise, and collaborating to contribute to a digital resource in the hope that it will support more facilitators in the future. I could not be more glad to have the company — and the opportunity to understand how we can replicate the benefits and impacts.

Collectively we’ll be creating and testing a model which puts more power into the hands of communities to make their own learning and development happen — instead of perpetuating the current hierarchical educational paradigm. Join us!

A huge welcome to:

Amy MacDougall, based in Glasgow, will bring together professionals working in dementia care, the arts, health care and academia to develop creative, innovative, approaches exploring the potential for increased participatory arts engagement in dementia care, in Scotland.

Sign up to get an update from Amy when she opens applications and follow her on Twitter.

Anneka Deva, based in Birmingham, will facilitate a multidisciplinary peer group for professionals of any age from a range of backgrounds and sectors across Birmingham and the West Midlands who want to pose a learning question that explores an issue of societal or personal significance.

Sign up to get an update from Anneka when she opens applications and follow her on Twitter.

David Heinemann, based in London, will connect two peer groups. The first will bring together professionals working on social change — from charities, think-tanks, trade unions, socially minded start-ups, politics and social enterprise — to explore how to enhance their social impact whilst learning from each other and growing their leadership skills. The second will bring together diverse coaches — across mental and physical health; work, life and executive coaching; trainers, therapists and teachers — to form a community of practice focused on broadening their practice, piloting new approaches and boosting their contribution to wellbeing.

Sign up to get an update from Dave when he opens applications and follow him on Twitter.

Full bios below.

Amy MacDougall

Since graduating from a music degree Amy has been devising, developing, managing and facilitating participatory music projects in Scotland and she is driven by bringing opportunities to make, listen and enjoy music to those who might not normally have the opportunity to do so. In addition to her experience of working in third sector development and facilitation, she is a singer-songwriter and has recorded and toured with some of Scotland’s most prolific musicians and songwriters. She’s written music for screen and had her music commissioned for marketing campaigns.

Amy has facilitated workshops with all ages and people from a range of backgrounds, but is particularly passionate about increasing music engagement opportunities in dementia care. She’s been developing her work in this area throughout her professional career and this has included a 2.5 year partnership project with the NHS, exploring the use of singing as a health improving activity.

Amy has witnessed the impact music can have for people living with dementia, which can be nothing short of transformational. She’s seen participants who’ve been non-verbal for a long period of time suddenly regain the ability to communicate verbally after as little as one music session — and a participant on one of the projects she developed proclaimed without provocation that “it’s better than medicine”! Recent research supports the theory that in certain instances music can in fact be more cost effective than medical interventions and Amy is committed to increasing opportunities for music and singing to be recognised and utilised as beneficial and even essential to well-being.

Anneka Deva

Anneka cares deeply about making the world better for everyone, by everyone, and is exploring how we can cultivate spaces where we can learn together to more effectively create systemic change in the world. She currently works as External Relations Officer at the University of Birmingham School, exploring the education system and the role of character education in bringing about human flourishing (or ‘eudaemonia’).

Anneka has designed and facilitated learning and development programmes for startups across Europe at tech startup accelerator Oxygen, through a series of accelerators based at Google Campus in London and startup retreats in Tenerife and Budapest. Prior to this Anneka facilitated visual thinking strategy workshops whilst working as a Brand Manager at award-winning brand agency ORB, and created national leadership programmes for young people with youth empowerment charity Envision UK.

Anneka is the founder of TEDxBrum, responsible for bringing the international TEDx movement to Birmingham in 2011 and leading teams of over 40 volunteers to create the first two TEDxBrum events in the city in 2012 and 2013, engaging an audience of over 30,000 people. In 2016, Anneka coached 16 speakers for TEDxBrum 2016, and in 2017 created and delivered TEDxBrum’s Community Outreach Programme that engaged over 1000 people from communities across Birmingham.

David Heinemann

David Heinemann is a facilitator, whose mission is to support people to change themselves, to change their communities and to change the world — ideally in that order.

In service of this mission, David’s recent projects include founding Index on Censorship’s annual global fellowship for human rightsleaders, launching a UK and US mental health retreat for 200 people with Sunday Assembly and training 60 disadvantaged young men from across England and Wales for a ground-breaking arts activism project with 6 of the UK’s leading theatres.

David originally trained as a theatre director. He has since worked with leading social impact organisations including the Young Foundation, Osca/Nesta and Compass. And as a large-scale political events producer he was once accused by the FT of “seeing in apathetic voters a river of petroleum begging to be ignited”.

He is also a disabled endurance athlete, mentor and coach, diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2008. Through this, he developed a strong personal interest in nutrition, physical movement and the outdoors.

If you could see yourself facilitating the Learning Marathon in the future, please do leave your details here.

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