Dave Stewart, from the charitable trust Positive Steps, has a reputation as an enabler; he makes things happen. Whether it’s helping vulnerable young people overcome barriers, training practitioners so that they can achieve better outcomes or generating concepts for new tools and resources; he is committed to nurturing and facilitating personal growth, making it easier for others to reach their aspirational goals. Keeping pace with Dave’s enthusiasm and energy is a challenge, but we are proud to say that we have lasted the course and can count Positive Steps as a long standing client (involving us in their work since 2002).
The countless projects we have been involved in are wide reaching, but always with a focus upon the distilling and anchoring of ideas. From turning Dave’s extensive and eclectic research into a growing portfolio of internationally used products, to supporting his training workshops with DCD’s unique brand of audience generated visuals.
Throughout this time BIG Picture has featured prominently as a tool to enhance what Dave and Positive Steps set out to achieve.
In the development of Positive Step’s resource sets, BIG Picture has been pivotal in enabling children, young people and their families to be creatively involved in the process. Used to consult with groups that represent the target demographic for the intended tools, graphic facilitation is great at capturing creative feedback. Through the lens of the BIG Picture process, potential beneficiaries have chance to reinterpret and reframe the theoretically rich models that begin the process, modifying the language and defining the imagery so that it resonates for them. On each and every occasion this participatory design approach has delivered stimulating results, taking the resources’ development in new and interesting directions that make a real and lasting difference.
Taking forward participants’ ideas, DCD also helped to formailse and package these materials on behalf of Positive Steps, fashioning the content into a whole suite of professional pocket-sized products that are easy to use. Collectively known as MetaCards, Positive Steps enjoy huge success, promoting and selling these tools both nationally and internationally.
Positive Steps Metacards are a unique range of resources available for professionals working with children, young people and their families.
Produced by deadcatdreaming using a participatory design approach, they support a person-centred and inclusive way of working. Visually intriguing, these targeted card sets have the power to open difficult conversations. Covering issues ranging from anger and anxiety to youth offending, substance misuse and radicalisation, the resources come with bespoke training on how they can be used to empower the beneficiary and achieve lasting change.
Doing a stunning job at making participatory design meaningful, it is complimenting training that really points up BIG Picture’s flexibility and power to enhance.
Whether to service users or professional practitioners the training Dave delivers, on behalf of Positive Steps, weaves together a range of disciplines and practices. Grounded in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), as a trainer he values the need to differentiate his delivery, accommodating all learning styles. He prides himself on maximising how his attendees take up his teaching; assimilating the content and making it their own. Naturally kinaesthetic and auditory in his presentation, deadcatdreaming’s approach completes the pedagogical and andragogical circles, bringing in the visual to ensure a holistic and inclusive experience.
During workshops DCD typically step in and out of the delivery, inviting participants to anchor in their own visual metaphors what has been important about a specific learning point. In doing so, the learning journey is mapped as an expanding series of mnemonic milestones. The emerging graphic also provides useful facilitator feedback, an informal assessment, evidencing that the group is making sense of the material.
A lasting and colourful reminder of their achievements, the final artwork is taken away by everyone involved in the form of a unique certificate that pictures their learning; whilst the hosting organisation is left with the original painting.