Last Friday saw the completion of my first full week at Volunteer Cornwall which has been most enjoyable and yesterday was the first workshop session as part of the Transform Ageing Programme that I am managing.  

The event was well attended by participants with representation from health and social care, people in later life, social entrepreneurs and people from a host of support networks.  It was very well facilitated and expertly co-produced by the Design Council and took place at the Pool Innovation Centre in Redruth.  After a great intro from Andy Brelsford to set the tone, we were off and learning about 'Design Thinking' and creative ways to explore the various challenges presented.  We all had a story to tell and something to bring to the table but we were actively encouraged to use different trains of thought; I could see from glancing around the table that this had struck a chord with others and everyone was really thinking and beginning to engage in a different way.  

After digesting a very nice lunch and, having digested the new ways of thinking, the creative juices were flowing and by early afternoon we were designing creative solutions to problems. During one of the exercises, we were given a free rein to think as broad-ranging as possible - no idea was too 'out there'. Naturally this led to one or two moments of hilarity when a couple of groups came back with options involving 'lycra' and 'hallucinogenics'! Yes, you may laugh but no suggestion could be shot down in flames as every idea was worthy of an adaptation and therefore a solution.

Having sat through many 'workshops', this was very refreshing in that it was informal but very informative and the role of the participant was to do exactly that - participate in a very positive way.  

This is only day one post workshop but already I'm looking forward to the next one!