Training resources

Debby Watson reviews a video and resource pack for people
working with disabled children and Jane Watt looks at a guide to
mentoring schemes.

Playback Video and Resource Pack: A Consultation with
Young Wheelchair Users

Barnardo’s Scotland
235 Corstophine Road
EH12 7AR


Opportunities for children to directly air their views are few
and far between. This video and resource pack manage to so this in
a way that is thought-provoking, enjoyable and avoids the
sentimentality of many attempts.

Although the children who do most of the talking on the video
are the more able in the group of 26 children that are interviewed,
opportunities are also given to those who have severe communication
difficulties, and very important issues are raised. The video is a
fine example of the value of enabling children to speak for
themselves, as some of the views are fresh and very honest.

The views of parents are also aired, and a section on the
inadequacies and benefits of wheelchairs is interesting. There is
also a section that shows a “film premiere-style” celebration of
the video that is useful in that it reinforces the value of
listening to children, and how much this is appreciated by the
children themselves.

The video was filmed over two weekend sessions of sport-based
activities as well as workshops in art, music, drama and
video-making. The aim is to encourage consideration of issues such
as inclusion, disability and children’s rights. The way in
which this was done is accessible and obviously enjoyable for the
people involved. The pack is a very useful tool that can be used
with different age-groups to explore their own perceptions of
disability. Activities are designed to be relevant to various
target audiences.

This is a useful resource for many who work with young disabled

Debby Watson is a research associate at the Norah Fry
Research Centre.


Mentoring Schemes for Young People – Handbook and
Training Guide

National Children’s Bureau
Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd
The Ironworks,


This two-part publication is concerned with the setting up of
mentoring schemes for care leavers. However the very thorough
clarification of the issues involved and the step-by-step
exploration of the practical points will be useful when considering
other mentoring projects.

The material starts from the concept that mentoring projects
“fundamentally aim to connect two people in a one-to-one voluntary
relationship, with one person being more experienced than the
other, and with the expectation that their skills and knowledge
will be transferred”. Benefits to the mentee, the mentor and the
local community are described.

The handbook takes the reader in a logical progression through
the necessary stages of setting up a project. Section one describes
the establishment of a mentoring scheme. The second covers
recruitment, selection and training, providing a very thorough
guide to this area with the reasoning behind each process. It
includes a large section of appendices to provide examples of
paperwork at every stage (from job specification for the project
co-ordinator, to exit interviews).

The training guide considers the appropriate style of training
for mentors, which should be facilitative, so reflecting the
project’s philosophy and approach in its work with mentees.
It continues in a clear and logical way through four modules:
theory (including the philosophy of mentoring, adolescence,
prejudice, supervision); skills; self awareness and development;
and practicalities. Each topic in the pack is covered in a rigorous
way, with valuable practical information and a wide range of

Whilst the thoroughness of this publication is admirable it may
be unrealistic, given time constraints, to introduce some complex
subjects in the breadth and depth suggested. For instance,
communication skills has a handout describing concepts such as
reflecting and empathy; it would be very hard for someone unused to
these concepts to assimilate and discuss the skills described in
the brief time allowed.

However the contents and presentation make this an excellent
training guide. Given more time, some parts could usefully be used
in a wider variety of training situations.

Jane Watt is a freelance social worker and



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