This year’s Challenge Event took place at the Chevin Country Park Hotel near Leeds. Postponed from January due to the Omicron covid variant surge in infections, the event was intended to bring everyone together in person for presentations skills training and networking.
The event started on the first evening with a team-building short walk to Surprise View on Otley Chevin – a traditional photo opportunity for CDT groups.
On the following day Jude D’Souza, facilitator for the presentations skills training, captivated the group with a brilliant presentation – about how to give a brilliant presentation – lasting four hours (!), then briefed the group on developing their own presentations. Participants spread around the hotel finding any convenient niche. The task was to give a presentation, receive feedback, then give an improved version of the presentation. Although this seemingly simple task took a whole afternoon it was an invaluable exercise, and some of the academic team reported being thoroughly impressed by the improvement in students’ approach to their presentations.
On the second day, the group went on a tour of the riverside at nearby Ilkley, where a community action group has secured a (first in the UK) ‘bathing water’ designation for a stretch of the river Wharfe. A representative from Yorkshire Water pointed out items of interest and answered questions about the river and sanitation systems. At least one student will be following up with the community team and Yorkshire Water to develop a research collaboration as a result.