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2.1 People

One of the biggest resources we have is people. Do you remember how Karen valued the support she had in her learning community in Week 6? People can take a range of roles which can all support your learning. They may:

  • have the knowledge and skills that we need, and be willing to spend some time to share them
  • have the equipment we need – or know somebody else who does – and be prepared to loan them to us or swap resources with us
  • inspire us and can act as our role models
  • cheer us up when we are feeling down
  • have the networks and the know-how to open up opportunities to us
  • not be afraid to prod us when we need it, or give us constructive criticism
  • have similar values and interests to keep our own enthusiasm going
  • concentrate on what can be done, rather than dwelling on the problems, and help us to develop a can-do approach to life
  • make us feel comfortable and bolster our sense of self-worth.

Activity 2 Building your sources of support

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes for this activity.
  • This activity asks you to think about how other people can help you. Look at the list of support roles above. Now think about who might provide such support for you in achieving your chosen goal; for example, family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, people in organisations that you belong to and people that you might be able to find through your community.
  • Jot down any that come to mind, and indicate what kind of support they may be able to provide.


Did this activity make you think a bit more widely about the kinds of ‘resources’ that people can be? If you struggled to identify anyone – or not enough people – you may want to think about getting involved in new activities with new groups of people. Doing this increases the chances of you finding out about these as yet unknown resources.

Your goal probably involves developing both knowledge and skills in some way. So now turn your mind to thinking about how you might go about this. The next section encourages you to think first about informal and then formal routes to learning.