Staffordshire University is driving an initiative to help individuals, organisations and communities across the region improve and develop their skills.
The Staffordshire Coaching and Mentoring Hub launched on 6th July 2016 and is a collaborative project led by a diverse range of partners including Staffordshire University, VAST, Business Enterprise Support and the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.
The hub aims to showcase, share and support best practice in coaching and mentoring, bringing together opportunities for development of businesses and learners.
Academics from the University’s Creative Communities Unit received funding through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) to launch the project with ambitions to open a Centre of Excellence within three to five years.
Project leader Louise Rutherford said: “Our objective is to showcase, support and share best practice in terms of coaching and mentoring across the county so that we can learn from each other, use the talent in the county to really inspire people, and have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
“We’ve got some really interesting partners working with us. For instance, Business Enterprise Support have provided Enterprise Coaches to support over 600 start-up companies, so coaching and mentoring makes a real difference in developing entrepreneurial skills and creating jobs in the area.”
The launch event featured a host of guest speakers including Visiting Professor Paul Fenton who delivered the keynote speech.
Paul explained: “The context for coaching and mentoring is about taking a person-centred view of the way that we develop organisations, the way we develop businesses and the way we make contributions to the community. We are often so fused on targets and outcomes that we forget its people that make them possible and the investment we make in people through coaching and mentoring actually makes what we do a success”
The hub offers a range of services including accredited qualifications, mentoring programmes, one-to-one coaching, bespoke workshops and programmes, online toolkits, consultancy services, research and evaluation.
Kurt Lindley, Development Lead Officer at Sports Coach UK, attending the event, added:
“I think any region that takes hold of using coaching or mentoring to develop people will ultimately more successful because they are starting to believe in the individual and what they are possibly able to do beyond their job description.”