Exploring one-on-one sessions in our Pilot Project

Community Cooperatives are dedicated to strengthening communities and amplifying voices. Within these micro-communities, are individuals.

In our National Community Cooperative Pilot Project, Independent Facilitators deliver 9 sessions. While sessions 3 – 6 are Cooperative meetings (meaning all members of the Cooperative are invited to attend), sessions 1, 2 and 9 are individual meetings between participants and their Independent Facilitator. These early one-on-ones were planned as an opportunity to get to know one another on an individual level before joining the group environment.

Our 8 sites have now delivered many of their first and second sessions, with positive themes and experiences to share.

Building rapport and getting to know one another

Facilitators and participants have shared stories over cups of tea, where the facilitator was able to build an understanding of what’s important to participants. Some chose to share photos and videos, or show the facilitator around their home, to share what’s important to them in their home.

Facilitators have reported that having the opportunity to build rapport as invaluable in preparation for the following sessions, and that they enjoyed meeting each and every individual. 

Session planning was kept limited, to allow for this comfortable approach which prioritises connection and participant-led discussion, to lay the foundations for trust and understanding.

Creating a comfortable and dynamic space

Sessions 1 and 2 are intentionally crafted to be relaxed and informal, allowing participants to express themselves freely and lead the discussion direction. This atmosphere encourages open conversations, enabling individuals to share their thoughts and ideas without hesitation.  

Many participants opted to invite Independent Facilitators to their home for these sessions. For many, this not only mitigated any accessibility challenges, but also ensured they were in a space they were most comfortable to meet in.

Facilitators noted participants have opened up more between sessions 1 and 2, demonstrating the value of this initial comfortable time together before moving into a group environment – something which can cause apprehension for some participants.

Clarity on Community Cooperative and program objectives

For consumers of every service, gaining a clear understanding of program goals is crucial. The one-on-one sessions have provided a personalized platform to discuss the purpose of the Community Cooperative and clarify any queries. This information has not only sparked enthusiasm for the journey ahead but many participants have also shared that this helped prepare them with information and confidence to actively contributing in future sessions.

Respecting unique needs and goals

We recognise that every participant within Community Cooperatives has unique backgrounds, needs, and aspirations. The one-on-one sessions allow our Independent Facilitators to gain insights into these individual differences. This awareness guides tailoring of future sessions to cater to the specific desires and requirements of each group, ensuring a more inclusive and supportive environment.  Facilitators have found this particularly helpful in building understanding of each individual’s communication style, and preparing any additional communication needs and mechanisms to support each person. Having the time to utilise these together has built the facilitators’ confidence in their capacity to ensure every individual’s voice is heard in the group meetings ahead.

Learning and adapting together

Our Pilot Project is rooted in continuous learning and adaptability. The one-on-one sessions reinforce the importance of being flexible to meet the diverse needs of our participants. By understanding that every individual and Cooperative is distinct, we’re better equipped to navigate the journey ahead.

The connections established during the one-on-one sessions have been demonstrated to form a strong foundation for our Community Cooperatives. These personal interactions have been pivotal in nurturing relationships, addressing individual needs, and facilitating the collective path forward.

Our hope is that by valuing each participant, we empower them to influence the direction of their Community Cooperative, fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration.

With enhanced mutual understanding and trust, we’re eager to eager and optimistic about the journey ahead.

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