Why I joined Coaching York

Like many people, I’ve been on the receiving end of good coaching, which has helped me do things like focus, prioritise, untangle, clarify direction, identify next steps and other good things.

Wanting to help others to achieve similar good things, I chose to add coaching skills to my existing freelance training and HR consultancy work, and did an AfC accredited Certificate in Performance Development Coaching in 2011. Through HR and Coaching networks in and around York I experienced little difficulty in exploring and practising coaching, but found it harder to secure paid coaching work.

It became increasingly clear to me that those organisations familiar with coaching already had their own internal resource, or looked to source externally as required. Many such organisations were unaware of the extent of coaching talent available locally. Many other organisations were unaware of coaching, let alone knowing where to look for a good coach.

And so it was that Coaching York was conceived in March 2013, with yours truly sowing the seeds of a coaching consortium with a group of like minded coaches. Initially intent on the creation of a simple database of good local coaches that local employers could access, the focus soon changed as discussions with politicians, councils, universities, hospitals and other local organisations started to reveal the huge potential that coaching has when applied to social and community issues.

Coaching helps people understand themselves a little better; helps prepare people to enter / re-enter / exit the world of work; helps prepare for life after work; and helps people consider theirs, and others’, behaviours.

To help an individual address any of the above is a pleasure and a privilege. To see the collective impact on society of many individuals being helped in this way seems like a useful thing to do.

That’s why I started, and am involved in, Coaching York.

Peter Lumley
Chair, Coaching York


February 2015

Black Sheep at Christmas!

One of the pleasures of running Realising Change is the ability to do things a little differently from time to time. ‘Change’ is not always conducted within the rarified atmosphere of the Board Room, Training Room, or Tea Room. Sometimes, insights leading to change are best found away from such corporate trappings.

And so it was that a group of freelance colleagues got together for  a few miles of walking and talking alongside the beautiful river Ure which runs alongside the North Yorkshire market town of Masham, home of the two breweries, Theakstons and Black Sheep.

There’s something significant that happens on these walks (we do them every couple of months):

  • Hierarchy, which sometimes restricts free flow of ideas, has little place when everyone has muddy boots
  • Walking side by side, rather than sitting across a table, leads to relaxed conversation (rather than point scoring)
  • Great views and fresh air liberate the mind far more than a usual stuffy office environment
  • The ability to sound out / test your ideas with a range of clever, informed and apolitical colleagues give a more rounded insight into your issue
  • The ability to pick the brains of people from all sorts of different sectors and backgrounds is a seldom found opportunity

……… and, its rather nice not to have to don suit and tie for these great outcomes!

Peter with Santa

Few things in life are as pleasing as a great pint and a good lunch with pals, especially when you feel that such reward has been ‘earned’ through several miles of walking. The Black Sheep Brewery provided us with just such opportunity, providing suitable festive fair, great service and warm fire

…….. and a continuation of great conversation.

Compare this to the sometimes found challenge of getting people in organisations to open up, engage, speak honestly, give each other constructive feedback, maybe there’s more to this ‘walk and talk’ than a decent pint at the end – as my mother used to say, ‘You should get out more!


The Black Sheep Team

‘Walkers and Talkers’