I attended the Coaching Academy's two-day free foundation in coaching course in September 2014 at a time of transition in my life. My children had left home and I was looking for a new challenge. With a background in Nursing and Careers Guidance, I was looking for something that would enable me to use all the skills, qualifications and experience that I had gathered over the years. I knew by the end of the 2 days training that Coaching was the way forward.

There were a number of courses that the Coaching Academy (CA) offered that I was interested in but after further discussion with The Coaching Academy team, I opted for the Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching.

I came away from the Accelerator training Days inspired and motivated. I also made some good friends along the way and these have continued beyond the course.  My coaching colleagues often provided free reciprocal coaching and peer support as well as sharing useful resources and tools.

Towards the end of my training, I was offered a coaching role at a local Community Centre.  The job involved co-ordinating a pioneering 8 week personal development programme called ‘Engage to Change’. This was designed for small groups of people needing to make health and well-being improvements to their lives.  It was funded jointly by the local authority and NHS to explore initiatives that might contribute to the local social prescription services available to GPs and health professionals to refer people to.

As well as co-ordinating the team, which included a mentor, personal fitness trainer, aromatherapist and art specialist, my main role was as the life coach.  I was responsible for helping the participants set goals at the outset, then reviewing them towards the end of the programme. We would then prepare and support them in their preparations for life beyond the programme.

Over the year we ran three programmes for adults aged between 26 – 65. 

The benefit of the team approach was that we were able to work with each person and weigh up how to use the various professional approaches to devise a bespoke programme.  We were able to focus on strengths and provide positive individual and group activities.  Goals included weight-loss, fitness, smoking, social enterprise, confidence building, positive thinking, social activities, creativity, learning a new sport, taking part in a charity event, de-cluttering, home-decoration, learning new skills and preparing for voluntary work. At the end of each programme the participants planned a Celebration Event where they invited friends and family to a buffet meal and gave short presentations on what they had experienced and achieved. Many tears and much laughter said it all.

I’ve learnt the importance of talking to a person and not being distracted by the labels that are attached to them.  Having something to aim for is important for everyone. Keeping an open mind and being honest about what you can offer and what you can’t is important.

Currently I am re-focusing on setting up as a green business and marketing my coaching business in a new area.  Building on all I have learnt during my training, and since qualification through ‘Engage to Change', I know I’m ready for the next challenge.

Start your own coaching journey today - book your space on our free 2-day life coaching course.


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