Reach’s School Workshops can dramatically change the dynamic in classrooms and groups – creating an environment of awareness and mutual respect. They are a powerful complement to your school/organisation’s social and personal learning curriculum, providing young people with positive and relevant strategies and skills they can apply during their education, recreational activities, relationships and their everyday lives.
Reach’s youth-led workshops create safe and non-judgmental spaces where young people can express themselves and connect with peers and positive role models. In this way, Reach workshops and activities promote positive wellbeing in young people. Underpinning the design and delivery of all workshops is a framework of professional wellbeing support, to ensure emotional safety and positive youth connections.
Who delivers the workshops?
The Reach Facilitators, who we call “Crew”.
The Reach Crew are young people who have undertaken years of intensive training in facilitating Reach Workshops and inspiring other young people. Through our Leadership development program, they practice designing and delivering activities, reading a room, identifying the needs of individuals and groups, asking insightful questions, and other key skills. Along the way, crew are supported, trained and mentored to learn about themselves and fulfil their own potential.
All of the crew who run our workshops (as well as adults in supporting roles) are required to complete a Working with Children Check. They also agree to maintain Reach policies and participate in further trainings around managing disclosures and our Code of Conduct.
You can find out more about how our crew are trained, here.
What you can expect from us
Prior to the workshop
A Reach Wellbeing Professional will contact a member of your school wellbeing team in the weeks prior to the workshop to discuss any particular issues that are currently occurring for your students in their personal, school or family lives individually or as a wider cohort. A deidentified summary of this information will be provided to the facilitators prior to the day of the workshop.
Facilitators will arrive 30 minutes before the workshop. We ask that the key contact (Wellbeing &/or nominated teachers/support staff) be available to meet the facilitators and take them to designated room.
During the workshop
Facilitators will set up agreements at the beginning of the workshop. One of these is “What’s Said in the Room Stays in the Room”. Young people are told that an important exception to this agreement is if a Facilitator, teacher, or wellbeing support staff is worried about their safety or the safety of others. Teachers and wellbeing staff should be aware that any follow up required is the responsibility of the school/organisation.
Facilitators will manage all classroom behaviour. We encourage authentic group dynamics and individual behaviours to be enacted and explored within the workshop by facilitators. However, school/organization staff should be present in the workshop, in the rare case that facilitators require support/input from a school/organisational staff member.
Reach workshops can leave young people feeling a range of emotions – reflective, optimistic, quiet, tearful, or inspired. This is not unusual in the work Reach does and our facilitators are trained to manage this.
After the workshop
Facilitators will speak to teachers or wellbeing/support staff present at the workshop to hand over any necessary information.
After this handover with school staff, Facilitators may require a small room to debrief the workshop within their team, for approximately 30 minutes.
What we would like from you
Prior to a workshop
It is important that young people feel safe in a confidential space in order to achieve the outcomes of the workshop. We require any disruptions to be kept to a minimum during the workshops and it is important that if possible young people do not leave prior to being properly debriefed. Generally, Reach needs a large, open, carpeted quiet space away from other classrooms and distractions, with some chairs from the young people. You can read more about the space requirements for our workshops here.
On the day of the workshop, facilitators will only need to be updated about any issues relating to young peoples’ wellbeing if there has been an unexpected and serious matter that they need to be made aware of. This prevents facilitators from being placed under pressure to adapt their work once in delivery mode.
Be available to chat to our crew in the 30minutes prior to the workshop so that you can get an understanding of what to expect during the workshop and how you can best support this process.
During a workshop
We recommend that a member of the school/organisation’s wellbeing team (like a Wellbeing coordinator or a school counsellor) is present during the workshop, in addition to an appropriate teacher/staff member. If you think this may be challenging, make sure you have discussed this with the Reach Wellbeing or Programs team prior to the day of the workshop.
Although you will be likely be seated at the back of the room, you are encouraged to actively listen during the workshops. This will help you to understand and be part of your young people’s journeys and allow you to have a greater insight into what is happening for them and how they may be feeling during and after the workshop.
After a workshop
It is important that a teacher/staff member is available to speak with our facilitators for them to handover or discuss anything that arose during the workshop.
Reach workshops provide young people with an opportunity to share things that are important to them and think about things differently by considering other perspectives. It is therefore important to give young people an appropriate outlet to bring them back into their regular environment; we recommend scheduling the workshops so that they are followed by structured play or activity for at least 10-15 minutes.
Some young people may leave the workshop in a reflective or emotional frame of mind. For this reason, having your wellbeing/support staff available for them to talk to can be valuable.
How does the Reach Wellbeing Team support young people?
Reach has a comprehensive wellbeing framework embedded throughout the organisation, headed by our Wellbeing team. The Reach Wellbeing Team is made up of qualified psychologists and social workers who have extensive experience working with young people. Our Wellbeing Team works alongside our facilitators in supporting them to design and deliver all Reach workshops. Integral to our wellbeing framework are proactive measures to ensure the emotional wellbeing of participants and crew. These measures include collaborating with schools before, during, and after our workshops to understand and respond appropriately to participants’ wellbeing needs.
You can read more about our wellbeing framework and how our wellbeing team supports school workshops here.