About the programme
The Blesma Community Programme is an annual course that continues to inspire and motivate by training Blesma Members in story-telling and public speaking, enabling them to take their stories of overcoming adversity into schools and community groups to help others deal with every day issues and challenges.
Blesma Members – of whom each has an incredible story waiting to be told, put themselves forward for the BCP training before embarking on an intensive 5-day training course delivered by West End theatre professionals and public speaking trainers from The Drive Project who help them to craft their personal stories of disaster and triumph in an engaging way before they go out and share them in the community with the purpose of inspiring resilience against adversity in young people.
With minimal input from the teachers, these workshops are effective in helping students develop strategies to deal with everyday issues by improving their self-esteem, confidence and by reducing anxiety.
The aim is to:
- Inspire those who are listening
- Understand what it is to overcome adversity and promote how to be resilient
- Encourage healthy behaviours Improve their interpersonal skills and relationships
- Improve confidence, self-esteem and equip listeners with the tools to overcome tough times
All teachers (100%) said their pupils were more motivated and positive, and inspired for a long time after the workshop.
Almost all teachers (94%) stated the workshop was effective in developing their students’ grit and determination.
Nearly all students (90%) felt inspired by the workshops and felt that it might help them deal with personal difficulties (96%).
Nine in 10 of the students (88%) felt more resilient as a result of taking part and 95% felt they had a better understanding of how to overcome adversities.
The workshops also help veterans adjust to civilian life and offer a way for them to make a positive contribution to their local communities.
Some Members have never spoken about their injuries in public, whereas some are already seasoned motivational speakers. All of them – regardless of background, experience or injury – learn something valuable, some have even called it ‘a kind of therapy’ that has allowed them to reconcile their trauma in their minds. All of the veteran participants in 2017 described the project as being ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ in developing their self-esteem, self-expression, confidence and communication.
I felt that hearing Blesma Members’ stories would help and inspire kids, I understand the peer pressure, adversity and bullying they go through so I wanted to do my bit.BCP Participant , Nigel Woodward
I really appreciate you coming in and we would love to have you back I particularly liked how you related adversity and personal problems back to the young people."Teacher, February 2017
It inspired me to follow what I want to do and overcome obstacles.Student, February 2017
How do I sign up as a speaker?
If you’re a Member interested in taking part in the Blesma Community Programme register your interest with Tuesday Critchfield by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07384257472.