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Six Month Birthday Update


We’ve just celebrated our six-month birthday, and have lots of good news to share with you.

We held our first exploratory team meeting on 20 March – after Mark McMordie, on seeing the pandemic take hold in Italy, appealed to the coaching community to respond compassionately. . We launched the programme officially just three days later, on 23 March, the same day lockdown began in the UK.

Since then, thanks to many wonderful people, we’ve now got to the point of delivering pro-bono coaching to key workers in 33 trusts.  We’ve delivered 788 sessions to more than 350 coachees, and we’ve some 327 coaches on our books.  We also have 12 ‘focal points’- volunteers who liaise with organisations, and at least 14 Coaching through Covid internal champions of our programme.   All this is coordinated by the 14 volunteers within the core and ops/admin teams.  And we mustn’t forget the five who generously gave their time whilst on furlough and have now gone back to work.

Our raison d’être has been, and is, to deliver high quality coaching to key workers in health and social care who’ve been impacted by Covid.  We’ve been delighted to discover Coaching through Covid has another, unexpected hallmark.  It gives back to those who generously give their time.   Over the last six months we’ve heard many stories from our coaches and supervisors about the sense of joy, deep learning and making a difference that comes from belonging to this community delivering something important: the Coaching through Covid programme.

In terms of the learning, we’ve always had in mind that we wanted to support participant coaches.  We’ve done this by running many reflective practice groups and offering our coaches Compassion Cultivation Training with the Compassion Institute (20 June-18 August), and we’ve provided support for, and discussion forums on, coaching for wellbeing.   We’ve also launched what we hope will be a series of diversity and inclusion webinars for our coaches.  We held the first, a fantastically thought-provoking and helpfully uncomfortable session with Jackee Holder and Jenny Garratt, on 17 September.

We’ve also piloted compassion training for clinicians by running Compassion in the Workplace: Preventing Burnout in Healthcare, again with the Compassion Institute.  This was attended by 28 clinicians at the Royal Free London NHS Trust (28 May-2 July).

On 9 October, we will be saying farewell – not goodbye – to Mark McMordie who will be stepping back (not away) to concentrate on other projects. Mark has been hugely instrumental in helping us establish a collaborative compassionate leadership style, and ensuring mindfulness, compassion and psychological safety are at the heart of our work.  Fellow Coaching through Covid co-founders Carole Osterweil, Lindsay Wittenberg and Liz Hall will continue to steer the programme as it evolves.

Thanks to everyone who has and will contribute.