A bit about me
I’m apparently a ‘third culture kid’ having grown up in Yugoslavia, India and Kenya before I was 10.
During five years at boarding school my peers were generally more academic than I, and were generally from aristocratic or otherwise wealthy families. I was brought up in a public service environment, and carried that ethos with me. I left after O’ Levels and went to high school in Maryland in the US. It was a perfect environment for me and I’m still in contact with the incredible people I was at school with.
I remember discussing with my tutor what I would study and because I’d done appallingly in science, I did horticulture and child development. There you go! Practical subjects that I could see some point to.
I came back and did a bi-lingual secretarial course and then a Business Studies HND. I considered going to University and got a place to study Media Studies at the University of Ulster, but by then I had a tribe, and wanted to get my teeth into work.
That university thing has come up recently, and although I worked hard and progressed at work, I do realise that the narrative of recruiters, employers and peers throughout my career has stuck and has often held me back, thinking I don’t deserve success because I didn’t get a degree. I’m letting go of that now but I think it sticks with a lot of people because there isn’t enough appreciation of innate talents, skills and strengths. That’s something I want to overturn with clients, because we’re all geniuses at our own things!
Brief run-down of career:
Events organiser at Earls Court and Olympia
Several PR agencies – I got into PR by writing to the author of a PR text book. His nephew was starting an agency, so I joined him. The agency grew to four people, then lost an account and two of us were made redundant. I went on to join another start-up, and then moved to a bigger agency a few years later.
Government communications – I’d yearned to get into public service, so got through the assessment centre and started in the Department of Health press office. Good fun, incredibly stressful. Moved to Prison Service and headed up the team promoting the work of prisons – facilitating journalists making documentaries and writing features. Dipped my toe in operational work on secondment to a young offender institution Loved working with the kids, but the empath in me couldn't get my head around locking children up.
Children and Young People’s Unit – first press officer spanning children and youth issues across Government. Crystallised my passion for working with young people and my resistance to the system putting them in boxes and stifling creativity. Became a policy official engaging young people in the democratic process, and funding projects to listen to their voices.
Two years in New York – volunteering with a youth journalism project, a programme to provide out of school activities and gardening in Central Park (my husband and I weren’t yet married so I wasn’t allowed a working visa).
On return I worked in a senior communications role in Government for four years and then opted to take voluntary redundancy.
Training as a coach has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I learn so much from my clients and they work hard and get results because they get to grips with how they work best, and how to take care of themselves. I'm finding my balance by continuing with some volunteering (as a nature buddy with a local charity bringing isolated people into nature), and part-time work as a carer for the elderly. I am interested in supporting families facing the challenge of making arrangements for elderly relatives, and am diversifying into coaching in this area.
Get in touch for a chat if you might be interested in working with me.
I received the Diploma in Transformational Coaching from Animas.
You can find out more about them here: www.animascoaching.com
I am also qualified in Mindfulness and Positive Psychology Coaching.