Reflections: Care2Work Empowering Professionals to work with Black and Minority Ethnic Young Carers

Participant’s reflections on the C2W Empowering Professionals to work with Black and Minority Ethnic Young Carers – 15th November 2016, Athens – Greece

The first day of the training was when we all had the chance to understand why a multicultural approach on young carers and especially BAME young carers is essential. We begun our meeting with a greeting from the facilitator, which for that day was Adrianna from IARS, and we quickly jumped into reviewing the day’s agenda. After a fun but also creative icebreaker activity, we all had to share what BAME stood for in each country (painting a clear picture of the difficulties each country faces), as well as what their particular needs are in comparison to white young carers. We were then trained on the soft skills that young carers seem to develop over time. After listing them all, we were randomly divided into groups and each group was appointed with 2 soft skills to develop and convey their importance, both in education as well as the work place, to the rest of the groups. It is essential to mention that all soft skills descriptions were on point and agreed upon by all of the groups, showing that despite our cultural differences we were on the same page and we could function as a whole.
Personally I would say that day 1 set a very good premise for the rest of the training. Understanding where we all came from and how different, yet so similar at the very core, are the issues and difficulties each country’s BAME face, was enlightening and gave perspective to all of us. Many prosperous and thought-provoking discussions were held throughout the day, which helped each and every one of us broaden our views not only regarding young carers in general, but BAME young carers in particular.

Yiannis Papavasileiou – Psychologist


Facilitator’s reflections on the C2w Conflict Management workshop for Black and Minority Ethnic Young Carers – 17th November 2016 – Athens – Greece

Indeed, according to the original sharing of tasks among project partners, our group had to develop two workshops: one on conflict and stress management and the other on problem solving, which we did. However, when we piloted the workshop on conflict with the group of young carers in Italy they raised the issue that they wanted to work on anger management as well, since they believed anger is an emotion that is linked with situation of stress and conflict.
This feedback was very interesting for us and we immediately decided to incorporated it in our session, which was based on experiential activities and games aiming to go through feelings and emotions related with caring situations but also to let participants suggest and share their coping strategies.

For example, through an exercise we identified how we understand that we are stressed and angry, or we asked participants to practice their conflict management skills in the “Battle of the oranges” a simulation of a negotiation process among two groups with similar needs. We also thought participants how to relax and calm their breath using a simple straw.
Indeed, according to the feedbacks and evaluation collected after the workshop in Athens, the practical approach we decided to use was very appreciated also among those participants. For example, attendants liked the fact that they learnt practical exercises to reduce stress and to better understand the reaction of their bodies to emotions like stress and anger.

As facilitator, I really enjoyed the experience of piloting the workshop in a multicultural environment and to see the differences and similarities of reactions between this group and the ones we involved during the testing in Italy.

Elena Mattioli – C2W Project Manager