Jill reflects on a spending time over coffee with our trainees, getting to know each other better and setting goals.
We had a lot of fun last week on our team meeting event! We were finally able to meet for coffee in small groups, drinking coffee by a warm patio heater, and got to know each other a little better. I think many of us have reached capacity in the amount of time we are willing to spend on screens online, so it was so good to spend time with each other face-to-face, even if it was outside in the freezing cold, under a gazebo with the rain falling gently outside!
Prior to meeting, I had asked our trainees to bring something special to share with the group. For some it was a photo of a family member, who is no longer with us; precious stories of loved ones. Others brought with them objects which have special significance. Azita brought her copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen, which she has read over a hundred times in Farsi and is now reading it in English. She shared why she enjoys it so much, and recommended it to the group. Nadia brought the most amazing art which she handmade using different types of wood veneer to create a picture of a tree in her native Iran. It took her 18 years to complete and is a lovely reminder of her life in her home country before being displaced.
During our morning together, we discussed the importance of communication, and in particular how important our mobile phones have been to us during the lockdowns and separation. They allow us to communicate with loved ones near and far, to navigate around a new city, with google maps, even telling us when the next bus is and where and how to get to a destination. To keep memories alive and share images with friends, at the touch of a button from your bag or pocket. Such amazing technology to keep connected (as long as the battery is charged up!).
It was wonderful to take time to learn about each others families, share the struggle of finding belonging in a new city, and discuss our favourite things about Glasgow. The pandemic has made it especially hard to make new friends and connections, let alone get to know the their new city and communities fully over the past year. We were all encouraged and filled with hope by the lifting of restrictions and everyone is excited to see what the next few months will bring, especially with Rise.
‘The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them’