PhotoVoice’s Training Spotlight finds out from past trainees what they have been up to since attending one of our training courses, and what activities they’ve been delivering.
The Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Mid Argyll is situated in Lochgilphead on the West Coast of Scotland, with outreach support extending over the larger areas of Mid Argyll, Kintyre, Islay and Jura. Their mission is to support people affected by neurological and other long term conditions, as well as anyone feeling socially isolated.
Karen McCurry, Centre Manager at the Snowdrop Centre, shares her perspectives on the training they received.
When did you attend the training from PhotoVoice?
We attended the bespoke 4 day training in Argyll in May 2023, following a 1 day training in Glasgow in September 2022.
Who else attended the training?
All staff from Snowdrop MS Argyll and representatives from their partners in other local and statutory organisations supporting health and wellbeing in our community.
How did you all find the training?
The training was thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile. We learned so much in a short space of time.
Feedback from participants included the words: Enlightened. Liberated. Energised. Inspired. Powerful. Intriguing.
What have you done as a result of completing the training?
We have used the participatory photography skills gained through the PhotoVoice training to work with groups and individuals to listen to what matters most to them, to improve their wellbeing.
We run a weekly wellbeing group using participatory photography techniques.
Using various prompts the group have had conversations around mental wellbeing, they have created mental health self management plans and have expressed themselves through photographs and poems.
Their work was on display at an exhibition in Glasgow as part of the Moving Minds event, during the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival October ’23. The exhibition was a showcase of work by people who all attend the Centre for support in self managing their long term conditions and to connect with others in our community. The theme of the exhibition was Revolution. Seeing their powerful work on display made all feel so proud of themselves, it was a huge boost to their self esteem and self confidence.
Our group have also expressed their opinions using photography at various community engagement events.
They created a photoboard to present to local Health and Social Care Partnership, who were seeking feedback. All 14 participants said they would not previously have attended a forum to feedback or complete a questionnaire, all expressed their opinions beautifully through their images and text.
The group also created a photo board for a community consultation for a local active travel route, again without using participatory photography techniques, they would not have had their voice heard.
How do you think the training has supported your organisation, or how will it in the future?
We plan to create a person-centred resource for individuals receiving care at home. The training was invaluable in helping us to develop our ideas into something that will be tangible and achievable. In the meantime the training is enabling us to use participatory photography methodology to creatively support our member’s wellbeing.