By: Morgane Tanguy, UX Designer and Joe Triccas, Product Manager at This is Milk
The Larder is a charity that helps people who are neurodiverse and/or come from a disadvantaged background to learn skills required to get a job in the hospitality sector – from preparation for an interview to making coffee.
Students learn through practice and are exposed to real-life experiences through placements. Their courses are personalised and tailored to fit the students' needs. The Larder fights to address poverty and hunger issues – for example feeding students.
The Larder partners with 80 businesses across the UK and aims to have 50 businesses in Midlothian alone. We spent 2 hours with them to understand their training experiences and approaches with neurodivergent and disadvantaged people to improve the trainers' experiences on our product ‘Neve’.
Kick-off the workshop
Morgane Tanguy, UX Designer and Joe Triccas, Product Manager at This is Milk co-facilitated the session with a set time of 2 hours. 6 trainers participated in the session. We started the discovery by setting the participants expectations around what we hoped to get out of the session. We wanted to understand their training successes ,challenges and how they adapt their training to different learning styles.
We kicked off the workshop by asking the trainers to introduce themselves and describe their role at The Larder in order to make them feel comfortable and start the conversation in the session’s topic.
Conduct and facilitate the discovery session
We set the discovery scene by putting questions on the walls across a room and we provided the trainers with colorful post-it notes and pens to answer these questions on the post-its:
• Who do you train?
• How do you currently do training?
• What are the adaptations you had/must make to adapt to classroom challenges?
• What are your training successes / what works best?
• What are your training failures/challenges?
• What existing tools do you use for your role? And why?
We gave the trainers 20 minutes to write down their thoughts on post-it notes. Once finished, Morgane gathered everyone around the first question and played back what was written on the post-it notes in order to discuss key insights with the trainers. Joe was a note-taker and captured key insights answering the questions we had. Then Morgane walked the trainers through each of the questions’ answers. We kept it concise and dynamic to engage the trainers in the conversation and avoid losing their focus.
Summarise and wrap up
We thanked the trainers for their time & efforts and summarised what was discussed. We highlighted that our insight gathering will help us to progress the training experience in Neve and will guide our product development.
Making the discovery enjoyable for participants
We provided sweet treats – chocolate and fruits - for the trainers to boost their thinking during the workshop and thank them for their time.
We kept the discussion concise and at a high level; we went into more details on insights that were important to help us understand their approach.
We asked everyone to stand up and hang questions on paper on the walls across the room to encourage people to move around and engage in the workshop.
We found it very valuable to spend time in person with customers to run this discovery workshop. Being in person allowed us to engage better with the participants, creating a more dynamic workshop.
We reflected and analysed the insights gathered throughout the discovery session. We created materials to communicate the discovered insights and inform us of the next steps of our product development
Understanding training approaches considering neurodiversity, health and wellbeing
To help and better understand how neurodivergent and socially disadvantaged students learn, The Larder’s trainers need to:
Key training challenges
This session allowed The Larder’s trainers to discuss openly their challenges and opportunities of delivering training in this environment. The Larder benefited from discovering how they can improve their approaches and will utilise the above themes & areas to improve their services going forward.
Quotes from the larder!
Thanks for taking the time out to visit, and for putting up with us all, we do like to chat and our very passionate about what we do.
- Garry Walter, Director of Training at The Larder
Absolute pleasure and really great session with lots of takeaways! look forward to continuing
- Adam Underwood, Employer Engagement Officer at The Larder