This is the village I ran to on Sunday, although this photograph was taken on Christmas Day, see below.
Every now and then we have to do mandatory training, sometimes relevant, other times not so relevant. The not-so-relevant training is normally to allow the organisation to tick a helpful box somewhere and most are left wondering why.
Today was almost one of those occasions with Child Protection training. As I'm not front line and the only manager on the list, I did wonder what box we were therefore corporately ticking, together with all of the other things I could be doing. That soon drifted away from my mind once the training was underway. The trainers were Will and Emma and I like their styles very much, they're nice people and together work well.
The whole day was fairly easy going, nothing too taxing, quite a pleasant easy-going day. One of the exercises was about looking at a scenario and determining what kind of abuse was evident - physical, neglect, emotional or sexual. Most were fairly clear cut. There were, however, a couple that to me seemed more of a description who was in need of some help and this was in contrast to some colleagues who tend to be more conscious of risk, defensible decisions, expect the worst etc. I think during the day some of my points might have been agreed with afterall. It reminded me of sometime last summer when, in the same room I did some domestic violence awareness training (perhaps less of a tick-box event and more of a reminder). Whilst I can't quite remember all the ins and outs, I do recall saying that if only we could help people re-kindle love into some relationships. Clearly it's not for a Government agency as such to start running a dating service but getting people to understand what love and commitment really mean is something worthwhile.
For now this kind of thing simply isn't on the agenda, which is a shame given the need that's there. There's so much harm caused by relationships not working and often a recognised factor in things going wrong. We as a criminal justice system recognise this but do very little about it. We are just not ready for that. Besides, it gets into the values and circumstances of people delivering the work. Reminds me of a time when a colleague mentioned to me that it was her 20th wedding anniversary that very day, followed up by saying that she felt inhibited at sharing this news with anyone else. I asked why, saying that seemed a shame not to share such a positive thing with the people working around us. She explained that nobody else in the team was anywhere near that stage. In fact, she went onto tell me, everyone else seemed to be unhappy relationship-wise. Everyone was either divorced, separated or unhappily single and wouldn't appreciate the significance of reaching a 20th wedding anniversary by a happily married couple.
I haven't really thought of running much today, which is a real shame as I haven't had the chance to run over the last few days. Had a fair run in the snow on Sunday afternoon followed by a couple of fast one mile runs on the gym's treadmill. The fastest mile dash was 6 mins 50 seconds. That's 10 seconds off my personal best. The snow has thawed quite a bit today and will probably be OK for me to go running outside over the weekend, maybe Saturday morning. It'll seem strange for the first couple of miles but no doubt I'll be buzzing when I get home - how could I leave it that long, treadmills just aren't the same.