Our training and professional development programme CONNECT launches, supporting businesses, teams and individuals to adapt to the evolving demands of the “new normal”.
On Tuesday 28th July, we launched CONNECT - our training and professional development programme for businesses, teams and individuals - to a virtual room of regional and National businesses, entrepreneurs, leaders and press. Attendees to our virtual showcase were also treated to a special virtual Zoom performance from our Ensemble Young Company showcasing the work of our young people, as income from CONNECT directly funds and supports this work.
The launch of our reimagined CONNECT programme is incredibly exciting for Mortal Fools and is the culmination of months of work and research and years of experience delivering training to organisations. Since lock down began, we have been supporting organisations and individuals across the region to adapt to the new and evolving demands of the “new normal” landscape through CONNECT, working with 14 organisations and 170 individuals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many organisations and individuals to go online with their activities and events, communicating with their networks in new ways using digital platforms and feeling overwhelmed and out of their comfort zones. We responded to this emerging need by fast-tracking the launch of our CONNECT programme, supporting organisations navigate this new landscape.
Since April we’ve been running ZOOM workshops (you might have seen us champion them on our social) and offering consultancy to organisations and individuals focusing on confident and effective digital communication, developing digital facilitation skills, increasing resilience in uncertainty and adopting dynamic leadership. This training and support has so far been snapped up by the likes of Northern Stage, Myndr, Sunderland Culture, Navigator North, Wakefield LCEP and nearly 200 individuals.
“As a creative organisation, our team has a strong set of skills to equip us to adapt, reimagine and repurpose our work to meet the needs of this changed world. The purpose of our work has always been to support people to make better inter-personal relationships with one another – now we’re doing it in new ways which are of real value to people and organisations during a very challenging time.” - Kiz Crosbie, CEO and Artistic Director at Mortal Fools
We are known for creating compelling, dynamic and high-quality theatre, projects and training by professional artists working as co-creators with young people, schools, businesses and communities; helping people connect, have fun, learn and grow together. This creative sector expertise, coupled with our experience delivering training to the likes of Virgin Money, Newcastle University, Ryder Architecture and Generator in recent years, laid the foundation for the new CONNECT programme.
Across May 2020, Mortal Fools commissioned research within the regional business community consulting with various sectors to find out what their challenges are and their skills and training gaps. This research captured the reality being faced for organisations and individuals and included SMEs, public bodies, entrepreneurs, high growth businesses, large corporates and freelancers.
This fed into the development and launch of our CONNECT programme; a training and professional development programme for organisations, teams, and individuals, responding to the contemporary issues, organisations are facing. CONNECT uses a unique combination of practice from the creative sector and theory, practice, and research from the social sciences to lead participants through a practical training process of identifying personal strengths, increasing knowledge, and developing new skills.
Mortal Fools staff and beneficiaries performing and presenting at the online launch event
Wakefield LCEP received training from Mortal Fools as part of its strategy to develop partners' confidence with delivering sessions online. The workshop was facilitated by 3 excellent, warm and friendly practitioners and enabled the understanding of online facilitation psychology; empowering attendees to make their own future sessions fun and the confidence to be playful. After the session we had feedback that this was the best CPD some of the participants had had all year. – Natalie Walton, Wakefield LCEP
CONNECT offers dynamic and effective approaches to developing leadership practice, engaging communication, formal presentation skills, team dynamics, digital facilitation and emotional resilience & well-being. Our training is delivered by experienced facilitators, directors and creative practitioners in environments which are genuinely supportive and accessible. CONNECT is delivered digitally and in person and consists of full day and half day training, 2hr long workshops, consultancy and 1 to 1 coaching.
Mortal Fools delivered training as part of Sunderland Culture’s Unlock programme for artists and creatives. This training was timely and important with creative industries being hardest hit by the pandemic and we received very positive feedback from participants It was engaging, interesting, full of up to date information, and delivered with care and focus." – Laura Brewis, Creative Producer, Sunderland Culture
As a registered charity working with children and young people across the North, the CONNECT training programme income subsidises this work; this includes using drama and theatre to support the skills development, group working and wellbeing of some highly vulnerable and isolated young people. When organisations and individuals book and buy in Mortal Fools training, they are directly supporting this important work.
The launch of CONNECT was an incredibly exciting moment and marked the beginning of us preparing for a busy Autumn 2020 delivering CONNECT training to more organisations supporting them to navigate the challenges they are facing and to thrive.
Keep an eye out on our social media for future public facing CONNECT sessions. If you’d like to find out more about Mortal Fools’ CONNECT training offer and to request our CONNECT brochure, you can email: Rachel.Horton@mortalfools.org.uk