Facilitator Focus: Melanie Faulks
We love hearing what our programmes make available for people and that includes our facilitators too! We also loved having Melanie with us for four years, first as a member and then as a facilitator. She gave great value to all the participants who joined her on her Newport session. We’re happy when people choose to move on from Fresh Air Fridays to the next chapter in their life – even though we’ll miss them. It’s the best example of people living a life they love. Here’s what Melanie had to say about her journey…
Being a Fresh Air Fridays facilitator – it worked for me!
If you are thinking about becoming a Fresh Air Fridays facilitator, I would like to say that it worked for me. Four years ago, I decided to become a facilitator after being a Fresh Air Fridays member for 4 months. I was already reaping the benefits of outdoor sessions, expanding my knowledge and experience of various wellbeing tools and enjoying the sense of belonging to something.
Getting my Why?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, with a vocational background in helping people back to work after illness, I wanted to provide Fresh Air Fridays for others. Once at the training, we were invited to capture our ‘why?’ How come you want to become a facilitator? The first 2 things I wrote down were ‘because I want to’ and ‘because I need to’. What cascaded beneath these broad statements were:
- more time outdoors
- getting to know my local area better
- more walking
- the creation of something positive for people
- developing my group facilitation skills
- becoming more comfortable in larger groups – particularly as a leader and hearing out loud (for myself) my voice and ‘me’ in these situations
- to add outdoor coaching to my business
- to work as part of a team where the values completely aligned with my own and felt natural
So much to appreciate
These hadn’t been purposefully formulated; they already flowed, organically, from the people involved. I then spent four years as a Fresh Air Fridays facilitator and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and my journey. All of my initial hopes and goals were supported and met. I am grateful to Ruth and Rose for the opportunity.
I am particularly grateful to those who attended my sessions in Newport and allowed me to guide them, both on foot and wellbeing wise! For 3 hours on the first Friday of every month, I felt honoured to be included in their wellness explorations and journeys and to have been trusted with their time. I’m also thankful to the other facilitators, the facilitator Recharge Days and the staff at the RSPB Wetlands Nature Reserve who were integral to how I learnt, developed and felt as a person and as a facilitator.
Great learning I particularly enjoyed was that you can plan a session but trusting to see what arises and occurs in the moment is priceless – as spontaneity and a deeper level of intuition and connection can then play a part. I also gained more than I planned for, such as:
- having the opportunity to attend wellbeing fayres,
- writing articles
- speaking at local groups
- becoming a monthly video producer too, as I chose to film a short clip about each session’s wellbeing theme straight after I’d said goodbye to everyone!
It was a pleasure to provide an innovative wellbeing programme in the great outdoors and whilst my group size never grew above 6, I certainly heard the voice I wanted and needed to hear. I believe I grew as much as everyone else and it’s exciting to think what might be next!
Find out more
If you’re curious to know more take a look at the following pages;
Fresh Air Fridays For You