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The background.

Canal & River Trust is a national charity that operate across England and Wales. In recent years, they have seen a dramatic increase in both the number of people engaging across the Trust and the range and diversity of engagement activities and opportunities they offer.

Their work across education and volunteering has increased significantly and youth engagement continues to be a huge area of growth for the organisation. As more and more children, young people and communities in general become involved in their work, the greater the need for clear, practical guidance and robust processes for their staff to ensure that the people they come into contact with have an enjoyable, valuable experience and are protected from harm.

The requirement.

Canal & River Trust recognised that there was a need to develop training that was easily accessible for their people to come together to discuss concerns, understand issues such as safeguarding, and learn techniques for positive engagement. Essentially, they wanted to build on people’s knowledge, capacity and confidence when it came to working with children and young people.

The solution.

In partnership with the Canal & River Trust, Dynamic helped create a blended learning solution by designing and developing three Safeguarding and Working with Young People elearning modules that complemented the Trust’s ‘Working with Young People’ workshop.

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Lucie Unsworth

Lucie Unsworth, the National Youth Engagement Manager from Canal & River Trust, explains what impact this project has had on the organisation and it’s staff, and explains what it was like to work with Dynamic.

What impact has the project had on Canal & River Trust and its staff?

This project forms a major part of a larger piece of work relating to youth engagement and safeguarding currently being undertaken by the Trust. As such, this project has significantly contributed to the following:

  • Increased awareness and understanding of safeguarding across the Trust.
  • Staff reporting an increase in confidence when working with young people.
  • Increased requests to the national youth team from local teams that are keen to take the next step and involve more young people in their work.
  • Better appreciation of the importance of safeguarding at all levels across the Trust.
  • The feeling that ‘safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility’ and an organisational wide commitment.

This has provided a very effective ‘spring board’ for a number of other outcomes, including, the creation of a Safeguarding Steering Group, creation of a dedicated Safeguarding page on the Trust’s intranet and the review of safeguarding systems and implementation of new procedures where appropriate, particularly around responding to and reporting concerns.

The 2016 pledge to the national safeguarding campaign ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ centred around this training and was successful in gaining press and media interest.

The project has attracted the attention of a number of national youth and environmental partners who are keen to use it as an example of best practice and/or base their own safeguarding training on it.

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How would you describe your experience of working with Dynamic?

Fantastic! Every member of the Dynamic team I worked with was professional, knowledgeable and efficient, and demonstrated a great understanding of what we, as an organisation, wanted and needed to get out of this project from the outset. I felt well supported by the team who offered ongoing input and guidance to ensure that the finished modules achieved our original aims and outcomes. From the initial kick-off meeting to the project closure, working with Dynamic was a pleasure and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to develop innovative, bespoke and engaging learning packages.

What did you like most about the elearning?

The modules were very interactive and included quizzes, video and audio clips. Safeguarding can be a difficult topic to make engaging and accessible, particularly to people who may not work with children and young people in their day-to-day work. However, Dynamic came up with a number of creative solutions to cover the fundamentals in a way that kept the interest and attention of all learners.

The scenarios were based on ‘real world’ examples that were specific to the Trust so felt relevant and applicable to our staff and volunteers. The project team suggested featuring our own staff in the videos which worked fantastically well in highlighting the importance of an organisational wide commitment to safeguarding. The graphics and photographs were also created specifically for the Trust and featured narrow boats, locks and bridges to reiterate that this was a bespoke piece of work carefully designed and developed with the needs of our organisation and staff in mind.

"Every member of the Dynamic team I worked with was professional, knowledgeable and efficient, and demonstrated a great understanding of what we, as an organisation, wanted and needed to get out of this project from the outset."

Lucie Unsworth, National Youth Engagement Manager, Canal & River Trust.

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