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NCT BF counsellors - advice with training issue please!

(16 Posts)
FrustratedandConfused Mon 15-Jun-09 09:16:23

Have namechanged. smile

I'm trying to get started as a NCT BF counsellor. There is another person in my branch who also wants to get started and we have both been given a lot of encouragement by our branch committee, as there's a clear need for counsellors here.

However, when someone on the committee emailed NCT HQ asking for clarification, she was told that the NCT are no longer funding specialist worker training from the Awards for All funds (which I think are Lottery funds). She advised us to look locally for council grants, or approach national supermarkets. hmm

I just wanted to know if anyone can shed further light on this. Is there really no NCT funding available for training these days? And if anyone has had to fundraise locally and nationally to raise money for specialist training, I'd be really grateful for some tips!

It's just a bit of a setback, I suppose - we'd all been thinking that once we submitted our grant - assuming it was accepted - the money would be there for training, and now it seems there isn't any available at all.

sharkyandgeorge Mon 15-Jun-09 09:18:27

I would email yourself for clarification, I understood it that headoffice paid the training fees and it was only the expenses that the branch were expected to pay. i could well be wrong though.

tiktok Mon 15-Jun-09 09:20:24

FrustratedandConfused - you have been told wrong.

Your committee member has misunderstood, or emailed without explaining you are bfc students, or else the person at UK office has misunderstood.

AnarchyAunt Mon 15-Jun-09 09:30:12

I am having a similar thing with my local NCT.

I want to do the training, in fact I have theoretically been accepted to do it, but have been told I need to secure my own funding. I don't know how to or where from though and haven't really been told either, and as a single parent with 1001 other things to deal with I haven't really found a space to start working it all out yet.

I assumed that the students just had to do the studying and that the branch dealt with the finance - expenses I could deal with obviously but I have no idea how to secure the funding for the fees.

flamingobingo Mon 15-Jun-09 09:35:23

Call your local tutor and ask them. They'll know better than your committee.

tiktok Mon 15-Jun-09 09:36:09

Unless things have changed, your branch pays expenses and the organisation pays for the training - you are not involved in fund raising at all. Get your branch and your prospective tutor to check again.

flamingobingo Mon 15-Jun-09 09:37:51

tiktok - I think things have changed, actually.

Awards for All grants won't work because they want to fund a whole project.

I think branch are meant to help with the grant application.

But clarification from the tutor would be the best route because they'll know the most recent guidelines.

AnarchyAunt Mon 15-Jun-09 09:40:12

I have been told by the branch and the trainer that I need to sort out my own funding - they have said to start with £1000 to get started.

But I have no real idea how much it will cost in total and tbh they are not making it very easy for me to sort out. I get woolly answers when I ask about it and it just feels ike a bit much - I am really daunted by it all, the local branch seem to have no idea about it really, and the trainer is adamant that the group can't be started until every prospective student comes up with £1000 from somewhere.

I will really struggle with the course if I have to keep doing more and more complicated funding applications as well as the work.

alex7715 Mon 15-Jun-09 11:14:53

iam doing a leadership course thruogh le leche and im paying nothing i think its terible yoyu have to pay .

tiktok Mon 15-Jun-09 11:22:36

There is always a cost for training, with all the vol orgs. The issue is who is paying it. There will be a cost involved in LLL training - someone is paying something to somewhere, alex, but it's good it isn't you!

Maybe things have changed with NCT without me knowing, but I have never heard of the student being asked to self-fund and I think this is worth asking about again, OP.

FrustratedandConfused Mon 15-Jun-09 12:15:15

Hi - thanks for the advice!

Tiktok, I get the impression things have just very recently changed - we were all set up to apply to Awards for All, had drafted the form, and then found this out.

We haven't been asked to self-fund - yet - as in, it comes from our own pocket - but I presume that if we can't find enough funding through local businesses and grants, we either make up the shortfall or don't complete the course. Which would be a wanton waste of everyone's work, time and money! sad

Our branch doesn't know what to do next, I think - I think everyone's still a bit slapped in the face from being told no by the NCT HQ. I was aware that it's not up to the people seeking training to fundraise themselves, but that seems to be the way it's happening here.

Thanks for the advice, and I will contact the NCT myself and seek clarification - just hope it doesn't get back to my branch committee as it feels like going behind their back because I don't trust them, IYSWIM. Which is sort of why I namechanged in the first place!grin

FrustratedandConfused Mon 15-Jun-09 12:21:29

Anarchy Aunt, we've been told the course fees are £4000-and-something, and that we'll need expenses that should be paid by the branch, but only we will know how much those will be. hmm I need to find out how many residential weekends there are, because we need accommodation and travel for those (they can be anywhere in the UK) and then there's travel to classes (which I wasn't going to claim for), book allowance, photocopying fees and if necessary, childcare.

Out tutor, whom I've met once, is very nice but I don't think she knows much about the mechanisms of funding because she keeps on asking us whether we've heard, and where we're getting it from! She's been very kind though, and says we can start going to tutorials whenever we want, regardless of funding.

AnarchyAunt Mon 15-Jun-09 19:07:48

My tutor suggested Awards for All last year but has since then suggested 'local sources' like the PCT or SureStart. But SureStart run their own peer supporter course here (which I have done already) and they had enough trouble getting funding for that.

Thing is I know nowt about fundraising, my special subject is breastfeeding! And tbh I think its a bit unfair to expect it of students at all, surely this is what the local branch fundraising coordinator should do? I am new to our branch and don't want to come across all stroppy and demanding but it is putting me off.

AnarchyAunt Mon 15-Jun-09 19:11:06

Frustrated&Confused - seems I am not alone in finding the local branch a bit, um, well, unhelpful with all this. Nice, but not really got a clue it seems.

lizzytee Mon 15-Jun-09 22:04:38

Hi, hope I can clarify. I am doing BFC training with NCT and am also a branch chair who has applied for Awards for All funding, so think I am up to date with this.

Unless there has been an enormous shift in policy, as a BFC student you don't have to self fund - unlike antenatal teaching breastfeeding counselling is not something you can make a living from.

However, i think in recent years there has been quite a lot of success in getting grants to help fund the charity's cost of training from a number of sources - Awards for All being one of these. Unfortunately, A4A's parameters changed from 1 April and they have said they won't fund this kind of application any more. It is still worth approaching local councils/PCTs/community trusts to see if there are other small grants around.

I suspect that there has been a glitch in communication, ie encouraging you to look for grant funding at branch level was misconstrued as telling you had to find the funding.

Either of you, please feel free to contact me off-board on lgnctchair at googlemail dot com for lots more tedious detail on the subject.

lizzytee Mon 15-Jun-09 22:11:56

F&C - re expenses
Residential weekends - accomodation is paid for centrally, travel costs are claimed from the branch.
You get a book allowance, plus your tutor may have a library you can borrow from.


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