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Oldham Community Connector becomes first ever winner of Communicate Gold Award

31 October 2017

David McCallion is a Threshold Community Connector at Positive Steps in Oldham and the first person to be awarded Gold by the Communicate project for his outstanding results in implementing the Communicate Programme (formerly Rapid English) to help adults with their literacy, language and communication skills.

Having been trained to deliver the programme in November 2016, he has since delivered over 75 hours of the programme to a number of Threshold’s clients, with extremely positive results. The programme is designed as a customer lead journey, it starts where a customer needs to begin and covers what the customer wants to learn and achieve. It is one-to-one tutoring for one hour a week over approximately 10 weeks.  

One such example was the case of Paul who had suffered a nervous breakdown and depression having lost his job of 20 years when new company owners found out that he had low literacy skills. He was referred to Positive Steps Early Help service by the reverend at the Congressional Church at Greenacres, where David had promoted the course and where Paul was a parishioner.

Paul’s ambition was to be able to read a passage from the bible at Church, so David worked closely with him using various tools and techniques to slowly improve Paul’s language, literacy and communication skills, until after 10 weeks he was able to stand up in front of the congregation and read a passage from Acts – Day of Pentecost.   He then went on to read two further pieces, firstly a poem called ‘when you can read’ by Bobby Katz and then a further piece which he had written with David to share his own journey.

David said: “I am extremely honoured to receive this award on behalf of Threshold and have enjoyed delivering the Communicate programme. It is not like school, it is about understanding communication in all its forms and learning what will help your life improve. By taking the time to listen to the student, and removing all fear, embarrassment and nerves, the experience is great for bother student and practitioner.”

David Hore, Managing Director at Communicate said: “David’s case studies offer a powerful narrative of the impact he is having on the community and it is vindication of the time and energy that Threshold and Positive Steps have put into the Communicate Project.”