*Hi, I’m Cathy. I’m a champion on the U-turn phase 3 work-readiness programme. My passion is communication and I’m part of the U-turn communication team. Every week I will be writing a blog post sharing my personal experience on this programme, to give you a window into the experience of being a champion on the U-turn programme.

The past two weeks, I have mentioned the counselling sessions at training day. Once a week champions have training at Church House. For me personally, training day is the highlight of my week. It is an opportunity for champions, participants on the  phase 3 work-readiness programme to get together and learn new skills. 

We start our day sitting in a circle, checking in, to find out how everybody is doing whilst a U-turn counsellor facilitates the session. We start by individually sharing how our week has been. The counsellor would then ask us if there is something that is on our heart that we would want to share with the group. The individual would share and the rest of the group might give advice, encourage them, or share their own experience on a specific topic. 

Afterwards we have Bible Study. Our facilitators use the Bible stories to relate to real life. Then we move to IT Literacy training where we learn for example the shortcuts on the keyboard, or how to use the computer without using a mouse, or how to set up and use Zoom. We’ve also learnt how to create a Curriculum Vitae. It is amazing to see how fellow champions, who have never used a computer, are becoming more confident day by day.

We also have group sessions where we are taught mindfulness, boundaries, distress tolerance and much more. 

Training day is more than a programme. It is about camaraderie and being like family. It is an opportunity to share what we are going through and find ways to navigate our lives through the different seasons. 

In a world that sometimes feels impersonal, for a few hours we can be vulnerable, yet empowered as we embark on our journey to healing and restoration together.