20th of July saw us all coming back together again to talk about how we were getting on, who we were talking to. To think about the conversations we wanted to have with each other and with our varied and very different communities and to find out what support was needed for people to keep practicing dialogue and conversations in the community. We also hosted 10 new people who came along to find out more about what was happening and to have a " taster" to see if they wanted to sign up for the next training in October.
Jacqui spoke about where this idea for building a social movement on health had come from and Andy spoke about how we were always trying to catch up with ourselves and how little space there was to really talk about homelessness, poverty, isolation. How our current systems were overloaded and not dealing with many of the root causes of ill health. "We can't begin to tackle this alone, it will take all of us in a collaborative effort. " we have to learn to listen to those with the real lived experience, people who have expertise. It only takes 3% to build a movement and we need begin, there is 15 years difference in life expectancy between Westgate and Silverdale and thats not good enough". He explained that Art of Hosting was not the moment itself, it is a bunch of practices and tools that open space for good conversations and solid connection between people so that ideas and collaborative projects can emerge. "Are we willing to have a relationship of co designing with our communities? Are we willing to be changed ourselves? How do we begin"?
We checked in with everyone introducing themselves and speaking about something that was going well for them, something they were grateful for. Many spoke about their families but some spoke about how their meeting spaces had been transformed by using some of these new practices
Then we shared some of our challenges and the connections between us, sharing in pairs what we were learning and struggling with.
Finally we had a pro action cafe on 4 projects, each round of conversation offering advice, questions and support to 4 project holders who each brought a question they were working on.
Each round of conversation had a question and people moved twice between the tables and projects, listening and offering new perspectives.
Whats the quest behind this question?
Whats missing, what are they not seeing?
What are the next steps?
Project holders finally fed back some of the things they had found helpful in this collective experience and shared their next steps.
We checked out with a question - who or what have you connected with today. "This reaffirms my relationship with the police and with this place" Ive connected with the simplicity of good conversation" Ive connected with Robyn and Gill, I think I can help out" " I feel more positive and realise how much I care about this place" "I've reconnected to confidence and have been inspired by the energy" were some of the things spoken
Finally there was an invitation for people to join us for the next training on the 4th - 6th October and to help us spread the invite far and wide so we continue to build this community of conversation hosts and this social movement for a more healthy Morecambe.