Some of you may remember that a year ago I gave up my voluntary role as treasurer for our local ASD support group. It was a great relief after 9 years, but I did promise that I would stay involved in a non-official capacity.
I attend the support coffee mornings once or twice a week, supposedly for my own support needs, but have actually found myself still being needed to talk to often distressed parents, as if my role in the organisation had not changed. We had been increasingly recognising that to do the job properly at least some of the volunteer committee members needed to have had some formal training in basic counselling and listening skills, so two people took an introductory course at our local college last year. When I first started working with the group I did have some rudimentary training in listening skills provided by another charity, but that was a long time ago. However I did not want to commit to a college course, since due to everything else going on here my study needs to be flexible and home-based.
I needed to find 10 more points to complete my OU degree, so I was delighted to discover a new course D171 Introduction to Counselling, which I have just started alongside the writing course. It is level one, so not too onerous academically, but will provide an introduction to skills that I will be able to use in many aspects of my life. The charity benefits too, as I am funding it myself courtesy of my Tesco vouchers.
And I've just had my arm twisted to return to the charity management committee, though I have made it clear I am not going to be treasurer again. A friend of mine took over that role from me, she is doing a great job and I am willing to advise when needed. I do have a wealth of experience to add to the committee, yet I have made it understood that from now on my input is on my own terms, I no longer want to feel obliged to work unpaid three day weeks!
Yes, I know I'm mad...
Three notable things:
1. Good tutorial yesterday...nice approachable tutor, five chatty students, it flew by.
2. The travel was fine, I was incredibly lucky with bus and train connections. In fact I got down into London remarkably early, having allowed extra time.
3. It was a bit of a shock to come out of the tutorial into pouring rain and a howling gale. I couldn't even go straight home, as I had to stop off in our local shopping centre to get some shopping for the boys.