Makani hosting the Pit Stop Social ‘Check-in’

As part of his placement with MensCraft, Makani Zulu (UEA Social Work student) hosted some ‘check-ins’ as part of our Norwich Pit Stop Social gatherings. The ‘check-in’ is where all members of the group have the opportunity to say how they are doing whilst being listened to respectfully, without judgement. Here are some of his reflections having been part of this…

‘I was privileged to host two check-ins at Pit Stop Social, a designated safe space that allows a group of men dealing with various issues around mental health and striving to be positive figures in society to come together once a week for two hours at Menscraft location.

During my check-in, the group listened actively and really engaged which allowed me to freely express my thoughts and feelings without feeling judged or being interrupted.

Before the session, the Pit Stop Coordinator, Colin, did amazing by providing me with handy tips as well as housekeeping rules to relay to the group in order to maintain the ethos of MensCraft and keep the dignity of all the group members that were present.

By doing so, I felt well prepared, and this contributed to my confidence and left me feeling comfortable to deliver what ultimately turned out to be a good presentation according to feedback gathered from some of the group members.

This opportunity enabled me to attain substantial professional and personal learning from it because I spoke from the heart, and my practice educator [who was observing Makani] felt that I indeed came across authentic and transparent when speaking to the group.

Upon reflection, I felt that being natural to the group enabled me to positively influence others to explore their innermost feelings they may have not been comfortable to talk about in a group setting.

I was wary that plans do not always work out,  especially when it involves such a diverse group and so I had to be efficient with my time and that of every member that was given a chance to do their own check-in.

I planned to deliver a breathing exercise which is a stress reliever as part of my focus on the day. Again, I was aware that not all members were going to partake in it, but that did not deter my focus during the check-in.

And so, I was able to reflect in practice, which is a skill I have gained from facilitating peer assisted learning sessions at UEA, and maintain the flow of order without being interrupted in a succinct manner which still gave the group ample time for social activities and conversations afterwards.’

Well done Makani and thank you for your contribution to the MensCraft community.

In Norwich, we offer two Pit Stop Social gatherings a week in the activities room at our Maddermarket Theatre site:

  • Tuesdays, 2-4pm
  • Thursdays, 10am-12