Evaluation of the Apricot Wellbeing group coaching programme

As part of our evaluation of the Apricot Wellbeing group coaching programme, we ask all community leaders some questions and here is how Elise Pacquette the CEO of funpact at www.funpact.org answered:

“Do you think that the Apricot wellbeing programme has enabled you in any way to reflect on your own health and wellbeing?

Before the programme I had been looking for something to support me as a community leader to be able to understand and reflect on the affect COVID-19 and the pandemic had had on me. I felt pretty stuck but couldn’t see a way forward. I didn’t understand my needs or why I was struggling to navigate through the trauma. The Apricot Wellbeing programme gave me the perfect opportunity to able to look at where I was in my own personal journey through the pandemic. – both as a community leader and personally. Navigating through topics such as emotions, values, self-limiting beliefs and exploring the effects of the pandemic within a safe and supportive environment has enabled me to start the journey of understanding myself better as a springboard to re-finding my place in this new post-COVID world.

Do you think that our programme has enabled you to progress forward in a positive and productive way in your life?

Yes, the better understanding of my journey through the pandemic by attending the Apricot Wellbeing programme has helped me to create a foundation with which to start to rebuild what the pandemic has destroyed. I think it is also worth noting that being a community leader even before the pandemic can be pretty isolating. There is a certain amount of self-reliance and resilience that needs to be in place to succeed. However, in such uncertain times those skills and inner-resources can become overwhelmed and without the safety net of support afforded by larger organisations I found it easy to lose the sense of purpose or drive which fed my passion to serve. I needed to be set back onto my feet again and that is what the programme has done. I have been able to assess my needs and find a way to meet them in other ways other than the activities which I am unable to run at the moment.

And as a result of our programme do you feel able to make some changes in your life in relation to your own health and wellbeing? (example of small steps you might take will be great)

Yes, the programme helped me fully understand my need be a problem fixer, I didn’t realise how much that is part of my identity. Understanding this has helped me to find ways to fulfil that personal need to rebuild my life. As a result of the programme and this learning I have now become a member of the NHS Volunteer Crisis Response Team at the local hospital. Although this isn’t directly linked with the community organisation I run it has helped me re-build my confidence in myself as a useful member of society, build a better everyday pro-active routine into my life and step up and forward into the future.

Considering Covid19, has the online processes in delivering this programme been effective in meeting the outcomes of our programme?

Although in some circumstances delivery of programmes may not work I felt actually this was a good way to deliver the programme for me because everyone was equal. All the faces of the participants could be seen, no one was further away or nearer than anyone else so we were all equal. We had an equal playing field, we could all hear each other, and it felt more personal because you could see everyone’s faces really clearly. We are so used to having zoom meetings now in all types of situations that not being face to face in real life for me doesn’t matter that much. The outcomes of the programme were focused on personal outcomes and the opportunities to share within the group I felt were actually easier via zoom than in an actual room. We were all in a ‘safe space’ to share both physically at home and also within the group where it was easy to show support via the chat. The use of slide sharing was very effective way of sharing information, videos could also be easily shown and the discussion based parts of the programme could be well managed. I honestly feel that Nawal made the absolute most of using Zoom creating an intimate face to face programme where hearts and mind could meet in an environment far better than an in-person course would have allowed.

Do you think that Apricot Wellbeing Programme has enabled you in your role as a community leader? please explain.

As a community leader it had been far easier for me to focus on the needs of those I serve than my own and up to a point this had been fine until the pandemic stopped the work I was doing and I was forced to face my own situation. The Apricot Wellbeing Programme forced me to address my own needs and with that my role as a community leader by helping me to understand the need to consider myself as well as those I serve. I think this has been the highlight of the course for me, that penny drop of valuing and providing for my own needs so that I can address the needs of others rather than using the needs of others to divert attention from my own.