I really valued the structure I learnt through Coaching Communities. I connected well with Becky and loved her style of working. She is very real, humble and approachable. Since the sessions with Coaching Communities, I’ve noticed a change in the team’s confidence and self-esteem. I can see people using the skills, the impact has been noticeable. I feel like it has opened up so many different doors in how we work with communities and organisations. I think this sort of training, particularly with people that I'm working with [in GP practices], it just enables us to work in a more together way. We all have our own personalities and views, it helps you really value and respect other people’s views, ask more questions to understand one another more, even if their views are different to yours.
For anyone thinking of investing in Coaching Communities I would say don’t think twice, just do it.
Community Partnership Lead at Bromley by Bow Health Partnership
After joining training in the fundamentals of coaching with Coaching Communities, it opened my eyes up to the coaching world and I wanted to learn more so I joined the coaching circle.
What worked well in the group was being able to coach one another, but at the same time, enjoy what we were doing and discuss things that we thought wasn’t working in an open manner. I think that allows us to be honest with one another, and at the same time help each other grow.
One thing that was a game changer for me was how coaching helped me come up with one idea that I could work on while at home. After having a baby, I decided not to go back to work the way I used to. I wanted to do something that allows me to take care of my little one and feel like I’m also doing something to stimulate my mind. I was unsure of what area of work to focus on while at home because I had many projects that I wanted to work on and couldn’t decide on one to direct my energy on. I was also getting frustrated with my day-to-day life. I didn’t feel like I was achieving anything by the end of the day.
Coaching allowed me to see that I was actually doing more than I thought I was. It also helped me to appreciate the fact that I have a healthy and happy baby which were things that I took for granted.
Coaching helped me to focus on one idea and see it through, which has now become a business that I am running from home. I can’t recommend coaching enough and I am still benefiting from it.
Coaching Community Member
Coaching Communities brought sunshine into my life. I loved Becky’s approach in the way everyone felt equal and empowered to work together to look for solutions. I found the accountability really helpful and learning the skills of active listening to step back and just listen.
I like to learn new things. And it was a step towards me becoming a coach – I’m now taking a professional qualification in coaching.
Coaching Community Member
During the COVID period, my friend came across the Coaching Communities sessions and intuitively thought it would interest me. I hadn’t heard of co-active coaching before but I didn’t think too much about it and just signed up.
It turned out to be really insightful and enjoyable - and it really spoke to that communication side of me.
Right from the start with Coaching Communities, the trainers built a sense of open-mindedness, empathy and mutual respect very quickly. It was a safe space to share. I could speak up, and I felt listened to. I think the mindful awareness exercise to kick-off each session really helped contribute to that too.
When we ‘graduated’ from the sessions, I was ready for more. Becky helped us set up our coaching circle. It’s made me feel really good to keep going and keep learning. It's a win-win - I want to persist at it because I have others depending on me; at the same time, they are supporting me and therefore I can keep going. Even on days when we might be low on energy, I know we’re going to find energy from within our circle - in lifting others, we also lift ourselves. It’s just so meaningful.
Trying to figure things out all on your own can sometimes be quite a lonely process. These sessions have certainly empowered me to explore my inner thoughts more and try new things. And I’ve noticed changes in myself.
If more people were to have access to the coaching sessions with Coaching Communities, I think there would be a lot more motivated people, more people who are going to find that they are more willing to open their minds and express their thoughts. People would generally be happier because it’s a great environment to be in. It’s a magical feeling to have that safe space and I think everybody needs a bit of that.
I’ve learnt a lot from these sessions, the biggest one being that you get out what you put in; you get a lot more if you contribute. I’m so glad I managed to join in.
If you’re wanting to improve anything in your life, there are people who can help you to get there.
Coaching Community Member
I first came across Coaching Communities when I started managing the Communities Driving Change programme at Bromley by Bow. In terms of my role commissioning and working with Coaching Communities, the whole process of working through our objectives together and creating goals, working together and supporting one another, it was great to have that from the outset.
After an initial pilot, we were already planning something bigger with a Community Café. It was really fun and encouraged members of the community who have been on their own journeys to come and share learning. It was a really energising experience.
Later on, I joined one of the coaching trainings, alongside my team, local residents and partners. It was one of the most memorable courses I’ve been on because it was an opportunity for us to step out from our different roles and be on the same level with other people. I was learning alongside other participants and staff, supporting each other. I think creating that sort of environment isn’t easy and Coaching Communities did it really really well, especially being on Zoom. I felt safe and supported and even the set up of the sessions was done really well. I feel it allowed people to shine.
The impact it had on not only the staff and delivery team was noticeable, even the relationships with participants and volunteers, supporting us to grow to a different level of trust.
I think Coaching Communities’ framework provided a supportive foundation for people to step out and take risks in trust and safety to freely express themselves.
We all grew in our coaching skills and were able to put them into practice in our day to day work. I witnessed the team and their coaching abilities grow.
After the coaching, I noticed a surge of activity in the community with lots of projects from participants but also community facilitators growing their coaching skills to really support people. I’ve used what I learnt on the course to work my way through issues with a sense of calm. There are just many possible avenues we can take and I think that’s helped me deal with challenges that come up in a more sustainable way.
From start to finish, people were treated like they really mattered from the content in the sessions, but even in the way Coaching Communities structured things, giving people time to participate in the way that they want to participate. It’s a unique blend of supporting relationships and connections, whilst building confidence. I think people really valued the sessions and the way you built in mindfulness as a whole allowed them to take some time for themselves.
Commissioner and training participant
Previously manager of Communities Driving Change, Bromley by Bow
The kids had reached an age that they didn't need me around them quite so much so we were looking at what ways forward, returning to work and that type of thing. So, how can I use what I've been doing? And what will help moving forward?
A parent I know suggested looking into coaching but when I looked into it, it was just too expensive. Someone mentioned Coaching Communities and the idea of the peer support was something I’ve always felt strongly about and it intrigued me.
Parent Champions and the independent special educational needs (SEN) support for parents, it’s been okay, but sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, to be able to sit down and have a chat to someone who’s been there done that or been through something similar, it’s really helpful.
After finishing the first training, COVID caused some issues to continue the first coaching group, so I reached out to Becky to join a second group, I joined the coaching circle which has been running for over a year now. It’s been amazing and everybody’s been great, and it’s been a good social support group for everybody.
The facilitation skills we learnt have helped us hold the group and to support one another’s journey. The supporting resource packs were really brilliant, I still have one of the pages pinned to my wall.
I feel a lot clearer in my own head around the process of coaching and we’ve used it not just within the coaching circle, I’ve used it with my children which has definitely been very helpful. They’ve become more confident in their abilities to make decisions and I’ve got two more happier young people at the end of it.
The ability to talk myself through a coaching process in my own head has been really beneficial, especially with some health issues. Your self confidence in your own ability to work things out for yourself grows. So, you're not necessarily needing other people, or you might link into say, services at a later date, because you'll have sorted things out for yourself.
Also just the sense of community. The ability for people to support one another is immense. And I think post COVID that's something that we definitely need.
For anyone thinking of joining a circle I would say just give it a go because even if you’re not sure, unless you actually try it, then you’ll never really know. I think it’s a lot to do with how impactful it can be on a personal level but also on a group and community level. We all support lots of people in different ways and being able to listen and listen properly is a great skill to have not only in your personal life, but in your employment and in the community.