As a Personal and Professional Development Coach, I work with people who want to explore what gives shape and significance to their lives and who are committed to lifelong learning, change and transformation. It gives me huge pleasure to watch a person unfold, to reframe and shift their perspective and to find the joy in living a life that is invested with personal meaning and aligned to personal values.
Relationships that matter
For me, a full life is about being in charge of my own story, nurturing relationships that matter and having a sense of purpose. Coaching meets these needs in me and I love to coach. I bring an open-heartedness to the coaching relationship together with a willingness to share the difficult places you may find yourself in as you find your path through to a better place.
Coaching globally, connecting personally
I am based in Ludlow in the UK. No matter where you live, we can connect to build a personal and powerful online coaching relationship.
I’ve worked for over 20 years delivering and designing learning and development and I’m intrigued by how people learn and change their behaviours. Research over the past decade shows that, contrary to the conventional idea that learning ends when we finish formal education, our brains are not fixed at maturity but are capable of radical rewiring. This means that we can transform how we think and how we behave at any age. I find this hugely encouraging as I grow older!
Before becoming a full time Coach I worked as a Learning and Development consultant and a learning designer for professional development programmes. My most recent partnership was with Purple Bee Learning developing their positive leadership and mentoring programmes for early years educators. For more about this side of my work, please take a look at my sister site, Crystal Clear Writing. Over my career I have worked in collaboration with a range of national and international professional bodies such as the Royal College of Nursing, national charities and the United Nations Environment Programme.
Know You More Coach
I'm a member of the coach team at Know You More, a social enterprise that is working to extend access to coaching, especially for young people. In 2018, Know You More won the prestigious International Award for Coaching, awarded by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).
I am coaching young alumni on the Common Purpose UK101 young leaders programme, another Know You More partnership. Coaching young people brings me hope for the future.
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been pleased to be part of the Know You More coaching team who have been supporting NHS and social care staff across Scotland.
I am a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). I am also an accredited CAPP Strengths Profile partner and a qualified, though no longer practising, Dramatherapist. As a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) I abide by their code of ethics and I participate in regular individual and group supervision to improve my practice and assure the quality of my work.
Mental Fitness Coach
As a Cognomie Coach, I deliver mental fitness and business coaching to clients through the Cognomie digital platform. Cognomie defines mental fitness as 'the capacity and ability to improve your performance through taking control of your state of psychological and emotional wellbeing.'
Coaching Global Humanitarian Staff
I volunteer to provide International Leadership Coaching for the Humanitarian Coaching Network, supporting leaders working in humanitarian organisations around the world, working with individuals who are often working in complex, highly stressful environments.
Conscious Business Coaching
I am a Fellow Coach with BetterUp, an international online coaching company, whose mission is: 'To help professionals everywhere pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion.' I have completed the BetterUp Conscious Business Coaching certification.
meaning: 1 the best you can be 2 an outstanding or excellent person or thing 3 to be highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive 4 to be at the top of your game
The back story
As your Coach I will be your witness, guide and companion. I’m not here to give you advice. I understand, though, that you may want to know more about me before we start working together.
At the start of coaching I will invite you to explore and articulate your personal values – the non-negotiable things we hold to be true (not what others tell us should be true). These tend to show up in crossroads in our lives – some are part of who you are and some come from lived experience. Here’s a snapshot of some of my own values and beliefs – and where they came from.
Achievement and burnout
I’ve had an unusual career – usually taking the path less travelled. In my twenties I was a founder member of a voluntary organisation in Brighton that brought creative arts to people with disabilities in hospitals and day centres. While working on the project, I also trained as a Dramatherapist. I believed, and still believe, that everyone has a right to participate in creative activities and that everyone has that spark inside them – the need for self-expression, connection and to respond to beauty in their own unique way. I’m proud of this time but I was young and inexperienced: I worked myself into the ground, lost sight of myself and was eventually signed off sick. I burned out.
To care for others, I have to first care for myself.
Being heard in a hostile climate
My next job was a Research and Development officer at Care for the Carers (no coincidence!), a national pilot project for developing support for home carers. Unfortunately we were trying to develop community responsibility at a time when national policy was heading in the opposite direction. I started to write about what I was seeing: the mismatch between government policy and so-called 'community care'. I got published, much to my surprise, and that’s when I decided I’d have more impact, and more fun, if I retrained as a journalist.
There’s more ways than one to make a difference. I try to choose the one that plays to my strengths and is most fun.
I went freelance – a risky move at that time – and worked as a journalist for specialist journals: Health Service Journal, Community Care, Social Work Today – plus the occasional national newspaper. I enjoyed being paid for having a well-argued rant. I wrote a couple of books about caring at home. My interest in personal and professional development drew me into writing distance learning materials. Gradually I built up a portfolio of clients and found myself writing part time degree courses for nurses at the Royal College of Nursing Institute. During this time I met my husband and started a family. Freelance life allowed me to design my work life to fit with the needs of my three children, which included living in Turkey for a few years.
Take risks and just do it.
Combining family, work and home educating
I continued to work freelance with my UK clients from our base in a small coastal village on the Aegean coast of Turkey, interrupted only by the numerous power cuts. After a few disastrous schooling experiences, we took our girls out of school and home educated. I wanted my children to have a free and adventure-filled childhood and they got it in spades! Although this time was short-lived, I felt that I was really living my values – in particular, my belief in the importance of play and imagination for learning about ourselves and the world.
Joy is in living what I know to be true.
A late-blooming optimist
I returned to the UK and there followed a difficult time of supporting my mother, who was caring for my father who had dementia, and of being a single working parent to my three children. I learned to be an optimist because the alternative was not an option. I retrained to be an online learning designer, studying at night, and I worked with some fantastic individuals and organisations across the world, designing professional development programmes. Some years later, I became interested in the psychology of strengths and strengths-based learning and found my calling as a Coach. I'm entering my Third Age now, wondering what that will bring...
The true constants in a good life are friendship, kindness and connection.