Ever wondered how to get the story in your head onto paper?
Ever wanted to let people know what you have been up to but can't find the right way to express yourself?
Ever wondered how to improve your career prospects or your organisation?
Ever wondered where you found the courage to do something unexpected, or why you didn't manage to do something you wanted to because you felt restricted or lacked confidence? Ever thought 'I so want this all to be different'?
Reflecting on and evaluating what is going on in your life, be it for personal reasons or for your job, career or enterprise can be such a rewarding and valuable experience. Unlocking your imagination and finding words and images to express what you want to say, in the way you want to say it, exploring new challenges and discovering new opportunities can be so much fun and fulfilling....
Find out more about my creative approach to exploring these themes below.....
I started my working life with the aspiration of being a singer/ songwriter and for a few years I did have some success in Europe, South Africa, Japan and Australia and earn a modest income but, back then, I lacked the necessary self-belief and conviction to overcome all the many hurdles and barriers to success. Perhaps, more importantly, despite being an optimist, I lacked the belief that 'I could', but 40 years later I feel very differently!
I have been fortunate to have a varied career, after some years training and working in hotels I completely changed direction and spent ten years in the Music Business and the Sports industry. Working in the UK and across Europe I supported and promoted young musicians, songwriters, performers, sports men and women and helped them gain contracts or sponsorship to further their careers.
In 1989, I gained a Certificate in Education and moved into Further Education, working initially as a tutor with 16-19yr olds and adults before progressing into more diverse roles; developing provision for adults with learning difficulties and / or difficulties; course design and development; student services and finally Adult and Community Education.
There I gained a wealth of experience establishing partnership with external organisations and secured over £45 million funding to develop a wide range of projects to widen participation in education and to help adults become socially and economically independent. I was so fortunate to work with a wide range of extraordinarily talented artists, entrepreneurs, professionals and academics to deliver these projects and I remain very proud of the many outcomes we collectively achieved:
assisting 315 new enterprises to develop and become sustainable businesses
devising ‘Access to Work Programmes’ which assisted over 3000 adults to gain employment
delivering Pattern Breaking training seminars in Denmark, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic
working with partners in Berlin, Hungary, Prague, Warsaw, Vilnius to develop programmes to engage disenfranchised adults in education
creating Art Markets and Workshops for fledgling and established artists and crafters
organising festivals to provide platforms for communities and ethnic groups to perform in city centres
bringing new plays to the stage and producing a musical based on the life of Martin Luther King
using Legislative Theatre techniques to help refugees inform local politicians and service providers about how they would like to be treated
creating projects to give voices to homeless and underrepresented groups to allow their stories to be heard
devising Storytelling as an evaluative tool for organisations and as a developmental method for individuals
helping community groups bring old buildings back into use to create spaces for the Arts
establishing an award winning Festival along the Waterways in the north of England
devising techniques to enable individuals to change negative patterns into positive behaviour
Throughout this period, I have become known as a catalyst who uses creativity to form partnerships, develop relationships and shared agendas. I am recognised as a decisive and effective senior manager, who adopts a flexible leadership style, challenges inequality, promotes diversity, supports developmental change, effectively resolves problems and has a keen ability to achieve targets. I am as comfortable working with CEOs and executive managers in the private and public sectors as I am with board members of charitable organisations or junior managers at the start of their careers.
In 2017, after many demanding years working in senior and executive management, I decided to return to my roots to work directly with adults and young people again. Over the years my passion for education and for helping individuals to realise their potential has not diminished and my determination to encourage others to focus on people’s talents has only grown. I truly believe that by employing a wide range of creative processes we can all flourish and grow and I now hope to put the valuable skills and knowledge I have acquired to further use and inspire others to thrive.
Master's Degree in Leisure and Human Potential
Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Needs)
Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (Counselling)
Certificate in Professional Development Mentoring and Coaching
National Open College Network Certificate in Creative Writing
Member of the National Centre of Diversity (UK)
Member of PRS (Performing Rights Society)
THE ART OF STORYTELLING
Inspire others with your stories
Everyone loves a good story but how do we capture all the elements of what we want to say and how do we bring the tales alive and make them engaging for others? Too often we focus on the beginning and the ending and lose the value of capturing, appreciating and sharing the journey.
I have a real passion for storytelling and love helping people develop their tales and bring them to life. In informal yet structured storytelling sessions we work through the skills needed to capture detail, characters, descriptions to ensure that stories are unique, interesting, believable and unexpected.
We also work on verbal storytelling techniques, learning how to alter your style depending on the audience, pitch your voice, alter tempos, emphasise the important, build suspense, effectively use and inject dialogue and humour. Whether you are building stories for personal or professional reasons, from the sublime to the ridiculous or the serious have fun finding your voice and animating your real or imagined tales.
THE ART OF CREATIVE WRITING
So how many times have you thought, I have got a short story or a book in me? Well, I am here to help you get started. The informal and structured sessions I run are specifically designed to give you the tips and skills to start you on the journey to becoming a writer.
We will focus on all the essential elements that you will need to either get going or to continue to develop the skills and knowledge that you have already acquired: character development, storylines and plots, structure, effective use of the senses, realistic descriptions and settings, time, place, pace, dialogue, critique, perspective and style.
In every session, you will engage in challenging and interesting exercises to stimulate your imagination and to develop your skills. We will also discuss practical advice on how to get going, putting ‘ pen to paper’, saving and storing work, planning a routine, discipline and structure - where, when, how ….
These workshops and courses are practical, informative and fun.
THE ART OF PATTERN BREAKING
The Pattern Breaking programme I work with was devised by a group of academic professionals in Copenhagen, Denmark and further developed and extended by a group of tutors and therapists in the UK. I have found this to be the most successful and engaging way to reflect on our lives and plan changes. It is a fulfilling and adventurous process and together we will devise exercises and activities for you to do at home in your own time.
All of us have patterns to our lives, habits, routines, past-times, behaviors, highs and lows, struggles and successes, friendship groups, familiar places, experiences we enjoy and like to repeat and experiences we don’t like but which we often, frustratingly, repeat. The creative processes involved in Pattern Breaking sessions allow us to examine all our patterns: the positive and negative and the stimulating and the limiting.
In a safe environment sessions might include exploring and examining:
The rhythms of our lives and our use of time
Our work / life balances
What are the important elements of our lives and what is ‘clutter’
The communities we create for ourselves
How to be non- judgmental and kind to ourselves and increase our self-appreciation
Acknowledging and celebrating our achievements, not berating ourselves for our shortcomings
Managing and developing meaningful relationships
Exploring and understanding our aspirations and planning how to work towards achieving them
How to address challenges and overcome barriers
Differentiating between real and perceived problems
Finding techniques to become more self-sufficient
Working out how to ask for and accept help when it is needed
How to differentiate between “what I need and what I want”
THE ART OF DEVELOPMENT
Continuous professional development and taking time out to reflect on and evaluate how we are managing our careers or how our organisations are progressing is so valuable and time well spent. In structured and informative sessions we will work with you on an individual basis or with your colleagues to:
review your successes and achievements
examine any weaknesses or areas for improvement
evaluate how effectively you or your organisation is progressing
plan for the future
identify new skills you may require
focus on preparing realistic targets and goals