Case Studies


Care Network supports vulnerable people to live independently by providing access to affordable, quality assured, day-to-day services. Care Network relies on a team of dedicated volunteers to support vulnerable adults of all ages and their carers who live in Blackburn with Darwen by assisting them to do their weekly shop, visiting them in their own homes and accompanying them on day trips or outings.

Their customers include older people, people with a physical or learning disability, people with mental health problems and carers.  In addition Care Network supports people to live independently and encourages social inclusion through the provision of quality assured services.

Care Network has an approved list of providers who carry out most of the home maintenance services. Most of Care Network’s approved providers are private businesses which have been approached and have passed our Quality Assurance standards.  Builders, decorators, aerial fitters, mobile hairdressers and locksmiths are amongst the approved providers.

The Challenge

Athena’s challenge was to design and prepare a bespoke Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Training Pack for Care Network volunteers around agreed learning outcomes. This included the programme’s training script, powerpoint presentation and associated handouts.

We were asked to advise and guide on the content of a training programme which included National context and real life case studies but which also ensured relevancy with the work of the Care Network volunteer.

The Care Network co-ordinator responsible for delivering the programme had previous experience of delivering training but required refresher guidance on delivery styles and training skills.

Additionally Care Network wanted guidance on creative ways of delivering the programme to ensure that the training was ‘real’ and would ‘stick’ with their volunteers for some time. Guidance was also sought on interactive exercises to ensure the programme would be ‘creative’ and fun.

The Athena Solution

Athena believes in working with Care Network based on a partnership approach. This included thorough preparation and current review as essential to ensure that the safeguarding training programme was designed to meet overall objectives in line with the organisation’s training programme.

We designed a programme that included a variety of learning approaches which were participative, inclusive and interactive. There were opportunities for discussion, individual and group activities, critical reflection. The format also included a solution focused approach for outcome focused planning and delivered in a creative manner.

Athena invited a member of Care Network to join the discussion at the preparation and design stage to make sure accurate messages, any organisational or cultural issues can be included.  The knowledge and experience of the Care Network member was invaluable so that some previous case histories were able to be included in scenarios used in the training programme.

Using Athena’s wealth of training resources, we designed a bespoke trainer’s script detailing the needed training resources, materials, training exercises or activities, learning outcomes and timings.  An accompanying ‘power point’ presentation was designed with detailed trainer’s notes for guidance.

The programme was designed and included the most recent Serious Case Reviews around vulnerable adult abuse to demonstrate findings and lessons learned.

The handouts prepared were clear and concise and recapped the main themes of the programme. They also included links which directed participants to internet or intranet support.

Lastly we gave support and advice on how to provide a safe and supportive training environment for learners and the responsibility of meeting the participant’s emotional needs which may be affected from such training.

The Outcome

An up-to-date, interactive and fun training programme was created that fitted the requirements of Care Network. The work was completed in an organised, friendly and timely and way and resulted in the development of confidence and delivery skill levels for the Care Network trainer.

The use of real life case studies and investigations brought reality and credibility to the training programme to demonstrate that the volunteers and staff at Care Network are in key positions to identify vulnerable adult abuse.

Thea Monk, Volunteer Development Coordinator, said, “After meeting with Sarah Goodall I was confident that The Athena Programme could help me to design the bespoke adult safeguarding training that I needed to deliver to Care Network volunteers. I knew that working with The Athena Programme would mean that Care Network would have safeguarding training that could be delivered time and again to volunteers and I could be happy that all the information was current and would be delivered in a creative and innovative way.”

“In the two sessions I spent with Lisa Pilkington I got much more than expected, having time to create a 2.5 hour training session, a trainers script and time for me to run through any problems and ideas that I had, developing the training even further. Working with Lisa not only saved me a lot of time but gives me peace of mind that the training I am going to be delivering to our volunteers is of a high standard.”