What did we set out to do?
Coach a number of volunteers working for organisations that benefit local communities, such as mental health, community work, women’s wellbeing, disability and mentoring.
What did we deliver?
- A straightforward, open application process for organisations
- Up to eight hours coaching for each volunteer from qualified practitioners over six-months
- Ten coaching partnerships with volunteers working in a range of fields
- Evaluation criteria to assess the value of the programme
What did we achieve?
- At the start, the volunteers agreed up to five coaching objectives. Each volunteer rated how they felt they were achieving their objectives on a 1-10 rating scale. The average rating at the start of the programme was 4.0
- At the end, the volunteers were again asked to rate how they were feeling. The average rating at the end of the programme was 7.6
- The improvement in the ratings after coaching was 3.6 points
- Volunteers said they were very satisfied with the coaching. Recurring themes included:
- How coaching had helped them identify key issues to address; and
- The high quality of the relationship with their coach.
What did the volunteers say?
- “I lacked clarity in what I needed to focus on and how best to achieve objectives. Through discussion and excellent listening and questioning [my coach] enabled me to identify for myself what I needed to achieve.”
- “I was kept focused and accountable.”
- “My coach was respectful and a good listener. She really seemed to ‘get’ me.”
- “Clear, honest feedback from my coach helped challenge preconceptions that could hinder my progress.”
- “My coach was supportive, objective and had some good questions for me in order to self reflect and progress.”
What did the coaches say?
- “[The client] explored a lot of options and identified the right solutions for him.”
- “Client looked forward to the sessions and increasingly prepared for them.”
- “We had a really great relationship with good rapport and at ease with one another from the first session.”
- “We developed a strong relationship full of openness and willingness to think and learn.”
- “First time I had used Skype [for coaching] and it is do-able!”
- “We enjoyed each other’s different approaches to addressing issues – quite a stimulating experience.”
- “…her primary objectives were addressed. The first more than she had anticipated…”
- “I was very well aware of the support structures offered by Coaching York. It was a great reassurance to know that such support was available…”
What did Coaching York learn?
There is tremendous potential for coaching to add real value to people working in a community setting. We now have the basis of a straightforward, transferable delivery model to connect volunteer workers with volunteer coaches and evaluate the impact of the relationship.
Who was involved?
Our thanks to Steve Page for co-ordinating the programme, to our volunteers, their organisations and to our coaches:
Diane Benson, Bernadette Cass, Shirley Collier, Peter Lumley, David Britten, Sarah Crabbe, Chris Lazenby, David McCormick and Maria Salkeld.