Work, transforming people, communities and our planet

I currently work with a Fair Trade shop based in a church at the Haymarket, Newcastle. This role engages many of my skills and I get to meet lots of fascinating people who generally believe that the choices we make in life can have a positive impact upon our communities and our planet.

I like the idea that there is more than one way to see any situation and the alternative economics involved in the Fair Trade approach demonstrates this idea. If we continue to operate on a scarcity principle that each human is out for their own benefit and this must deprive another human of their share of a limited resource… I believe that no one gains.

By working together to make sure that every human has the right to live a full and meaningful life we can create a planet that supports and sustains all life including us human animals.

I started working for pay in 1971. Much of that work helped me learn that working for and with people requires a set of skills… many of these skills were not technical… rather they were about managing my own energy so that I could build trust based relationships with those I worked for and with.

Some of those relationships that I made in my early working life are still in place now… people that I like to work with often make good friends too.

The quality of the relationships that we choose to invest in and build upon pretty much determines our chances of having a great life. Invest in meaningful, caring relationships and we get to hang out with others who support our own growth and theirs… invest in meaningless, hurtful relationships and we stay stunted and isolated. The work required to become self aware and learn how to express ourselves honestly without fear… is hard and takes a lifetime… but the pay and the benefits are amazing!

These days I choose to work with people who are clear about the impact they want from their efforts, these always include making thier own lives better and often as a side effect making the lives of others better too.


Work, transforming one thing into another as a result of using my energy focussed upon an outcome. When I have a positive emotional attachment to the outcome of my labour then I love to work. When I do not feel any connection to the outcome of my labour then I am less keen.

Everything we do in life usually involves some work, learning to walk, talk, express our feelings, take responsibility for the consequences of our actions and become fully actualised adult humans… that all involves hard work. Thankfully many people on this planet now and in the past have done that work because they felt a strong emotional connection to the outcome.

I use the following skills in my work


My role as a coach is to provide a non judgemental, objective listening service. By listening and then feeding back my observations I can help others identify what it is they want to do and what they expect to gain from doing this.

I trained as a coach with the Coaching Academy in the UK.

In the past I have worked as a coach independently and also  ran a team of youth coaches for a Gateshead based charity Oasis Aquila. They run their charity based upon the following values; Inclusion. Worth. Hope. Perseverance. Life. I enjoy working with these values in mind in all my roles.


My role as a facilitator involves making it as easy as possible for individuals or groups to identify what they want and how they can manage to achieve this. I do this by finding out as much as I can about the aims of the person or people I am working with. I then summarise what I have learned. This usually leads to a list of what they are good at and where they need help. Once we reach this point we are looking to find the people and or actions required to achieve the objectives of the person or team.

I trained as a facilitator with the Sirolli Institute which is based in California. I was trained by Ernesto Sirolli and his team.

My daughter who was living with me at the time described this two years of intensive training as; “a journey of self discovery.”

This from Ernesto; “The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, energy and imagination of it’s own people.”


I use counselling skills in my work. I gained these skills through my own life long interest in, and study of, psychology and human behaviour. I also have a level 3 Diploma in Counselling skills from Gosforth Community College. I am happy to explain how I use these skills in my work. However if you would like to find a fully qualified counsellor I would suggest you check the list at the BACP website.

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