Diary of a Street Pastors trainee: The icebreaker
Session: Roles and Responsibilities
Cake: coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle
Who was there: Ascension Trust Representative (the trainer for the day), members of the management team, local administrator, a few existing SPs who popped in to say hello, and 12 new trainees from 11 different local churches.
The icebreaker: We were put through a drill to test our ability to remember the names of our new trainee colleagues (no name badges allowed). Who is on the left of Lydia? Who is sitting in front of Gill? Perhaps because I had given my recall muscles a workout I was able to think of not one but three interesting facts about myself when requested for the Icebreaker Part 2. Weighing them all up (impact vs modesty) I stayed silent on the news that when I was 10 years old I bought a cow and that I used to sell cheese in Harrods, and opted for the revelation, I play netball.
Key messages of the session: The importance of working as a team and staying together on patrol.
What I will remember: The role plays – a painful, powerful teaching method. Facilitated by the husband of our trainer (plus toy dog) playing the part of a homeless man and his dog.
Biggest challenge: Risk assessment – I’m sure this will improve with experience – but in this, our first training session, there was a large gap between the way we approached certain situations that we might face on the street and the recommendations that our trainer gave afterwards.
Homework: None. But I hope that between now and the next session I will reflect on the trainer’s encouragement to “Ask God to show you people as He sees them, not as I see them.”
Ros Davies is a freelance writer and communications consultant