Free coaching for Reading’s charities now extended – apply before 14 January 2022

Article date
23 November 2021
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

RVA successfully collaborated with Coaching Reading this year to offer free coaching to trustees and managers of Reading’s charities and community groups. In this article, Deborah Jefferies, Coach and Coordinator of the pro bono offer at Coaching Reading captures the successes and also gives details of the extension of this offer. Read on to hear how you can take part in this on-going offer.

Earlier in the year, Herjeet Randhawa advertised a free coaching offer to all trustees, directors and managers of charities and voluntary sector organisations in Reading. This was made possible through a new partnership with Coaching Reading, a local community of coaching professionals.

Following a successful review and great feedback from participants, RVA is now extending this offer and would like to hear from others who feel they might benefit from coaching support.

This is what one of the beneficiaries of this offer said at the end of the coaching:

I think Coaching Reading should ‘shout from the rooftops’ about the fantastic work their coaches do.

So we thought we would take their advice and let you know how useful the coaching has been to the coachees.  Coaching provides a rare opportunity to stop and think within a supportive space in order to move forwards with confidence, and with greater clarity and motivation.

What I found most helpful was having the opportunity to think through the hurdles holding me back from maximizing my input.


The coach made me reflect on my key skill areas – I have been too busy to give this the time and consideration it deserves. I realise I have much to offer and contribute to Boards. I will use this awareness to pursue roles that ‘stretch’ and challenge me.


The coaching also helped me with my imposter syndrome fears at the beginning by allowing me the space to hear myself and reflect.


What has helped me most is having more confidence in myself as a person in working on my tasks and goals.

The majority of those taking part in this free offer had never had a coaching experience before and, understandably, some were hesitant and not sure about putting themselves forward.

I had never had coaching before and I was tentative and unsure if it was right for me or what it would mean. The coaching taught me a lot about myself, I am confident that I can find solutions if solutions are needed or let things stay as they are.

But the results are undeniable:

Fantastic coach, fabulous outcome. A new me!


Key to everything has been the Coach’s calmness, positive approach and just being a great, unjudging listening ear. She has helped me to identify what outcomes I really wanted.”

As with many things in life, you get out of it what you put in so if you want to take up the offer of free coaching sessions, it is worth preparing yourself to be able to make it a priority and to commit to any follow-up actions you decide on. Here is what one coachee had to say:

When I started these coaching sessions, I really didn’t know what to expect. It seemed like “extra work” on an already full workload. Today as I had my last session, I am so tremendously grateful that I stayed with these sessions. I could never, on my own, have reached these absolutely, wonderful outcomes that now exist in both my personal and volunteering life.

RVA and Coaching Reading have a common goal to have a positive impact on our community and this successful partnership means that we want to extend the free coaching offer to the next cohort. This offer is for trustees, directors and managers of charities and voluntary organisations delivering services in Reading. Priority places will be offered to those who fit most or all of the following criteria:

  • Your charity or voluntary organisation serves diverse communities, and has trustees or managers from those communities in key roles, or you are working towards this.
  • You are a chair of a charity and dealing with board changes, challenges or development.
  • You are able to make the time commitment to attend six one-hour coaching sessions over an agreed period, and implement the learning between sessions. Sessions can take place via phone or Zoom or face-to-face.
  • You do not already have a similar coaching or support in place.
  • Your charity or voluntary organisation has limited resources for personal development/training.
How to apply:
  • Find out more about Coaching and what to expect here.
  • Please complete this application and return to and we’ll be in touch to let you know about next steps.
  • This is a rolling opportunity so you can apply at any time. However please apply before 14 Jan 2022 for the next round of coaching matches to commence by the end of Jan 2022.
  • If you are unsure whether this is for you and would like to find out more before applying, please also get in touch with Herjeet. We hope to be able to offer places to all who apply but we will need to prioritise based on the above criteria and the availability of coaches. We will let you know if we need to add you to a waiting list.

We look forward to hearing from you!