Free coaching offer for Reading’s trustees and managers

Author's position
Advice Service Manager
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

Are you a charity trustee or manager? We know Covid has thrown up many challenges for those running charities. Coaching is an opportunity to explore your own blocks to help you achieve the best for your charity at this time. We are pleased to say we have partnered with Coaching Reading to offer free Coaching to Reading’s charities and voluntary groups.

This offer is alongside our standard Advice Service, which continues to be available to all charities and voluntary groups offering services in Reading. Coaching is not the same as advice.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a powerful and positive way of helping you move forward in areas of your life where you feel blocked or unsure. The coaching relationship is based on trust, respect and care. Coaching can be defined as:

Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Your coach will gently challenge, support and help you in any areas in your life that are holding you back professionally or personally. They try not to give you advice but instead help you think issues through, weigh up options for actions and help you decide and carry out actions to help you meet your goals. However, advice may come in the form of helping you to establish what information, support or guidance you want/need and how you might access it. Download more information on coaching here.

Feedback from those who have already attended

We trialled this offer with our own team at the end of last year and here is some feedback on how it helped them:

 I would recommend it to anyone in the sector as an invaluable chance for structured reflection, discussion and development – especially if you feel stuck in a rut with certain situations or aspirations. As well as working towards specific goals, I see my sessions with Sarah as giving me an empowering toolbox of skills which I can draw on professionally and personally. For me, this includes learning to challenge my own assumptions, shift my perspective, break down big ideas into smaller components and think more about how to use my existing skills.

What I like about it is that it’s definitely not advice giving. It’s all about empowering the client to their own realisations, so Sue will just prompt me with a few questions here and there to take me deeper, but as the client I’m doing all the talking. This definitely feels like I’m owning the process, the insights, the transformation.

This coaching hasn’t been intellectual learning or teaching on a specific area of work but it’s been more life coaching – so how can I as a person show up differently (which would then ideally lead to fewer limitations at work, less fear at work, better performance, more creativity in the workplace, more wisdom in the workplace etc).

Who is this coaching for?

We have all seen how Covid has uncovered and deepened pre-existing inequalities in society, therefore we would like this coaching offer to have the greatest impact for our communities. This offer is for trustees and managers of charities delivering services in Reading and priority places will be offered to those who fit most or all of the following criteria:

  • Your charity serves diverse communities, and has trustees or managers from those communities in key roles, or you are working towards this.
  • You are adapting or reviewing your services to meet the needs of your beneficiaries and those most in need as a result of the pandemic.
  • 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.
  • You do not already have a similar coaching or support in place.
  • Your charity has limited resources for personal development/training.

The offer is available to one person from each organisation. We would therefore recommend offering it to your Chair first or other active trustee or manager who is committed to the charity and can make time to attend.

Who is Coaching Reading and who are the coaches?

Coaching Reading are a collection of accredited coaches and they would like to offer a pro-bono service to Reading’s charities in partnership with RVA. Take a look at Coach Profiles here.

How to apply

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 12 Feb for the first round of coaching matches to commence by end of Feb.

If you are unsure whether this is for you and would like to find out more before applying, please also get in touch. 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!