Locala coaches win national training award

A colleague-led service that supports Locala colleagues to develop, learn and find innovative ways to overcome challenging situations has won a major national training award.

The Locala Coaching Service were the winners of the Gold Award at the national Training Journal (TJ) Awards.

Locala – the Batley-based not-for-profit social enterprise providing community healthcare – has 21 colleagues who are trained as coaches. They offer fellow colleagues a safe and confidential space to explore challenging situations and develop strategies to help individuals find a way forward.

Diane McKerracher, Chair of Locala’s Board, said: “We are delighted that our Coaching Service has won this award for their innovative work to develop our colleagues and help improve care for our patients across Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford.”

“We are in an ever changing world of health and social care so it’s important that we find new ways of coping with those changes. Having colleagues who can offer peer support is a great way of doing that and it’s pleasing to see that work being recognised nationally.”

The coaching service has been running in Locala since 2018 and has already supported more than 75 colleagues. It was developed by a team of Locala colleagues who shaped how it would work across the organisation and continue to run and develop the service.

TJ Award judges commended the Coaching Service for its obvious impact on staff and also on the service for patients. They added: “Their passion was obvious and the programme feels fully embedded and sustainable.”

The trained Locala coaches listen and use skilful questioning to help colleagues to explore specific situations from a variety of different perspectives to come up with their own solutions – rather than trying to guide people or tell them what they should do. This helps people find the right solutions for them, their teams and their patients.

Feedback from those taking part has been overwhelmingly positive:

·         “ coaching helped me break down and manage my goals, and manage the transition from hospital to community working”

·         “It made me really vocalise the issues, and the coach questioned my beliefs, thinking and experience in order to make wise decisions … and therefore to stop worrying about things which are not within my control or influence”

The TJ Awards are now in their 14th year and recognise the ingenuity, creativity, passion and hard work of learning and development professionals from around the world.

Dianne Frost, Director of Organisational Development and People, said: “We are really seeing the benefits for Locala of having the colleague-led Coaching Service which is a very effective tool to help support and develop individuals.

“Coaching helps to break down something big, scary or emotive into smaller bite-size chunks that people can take action on and we’re seeing that happen across Locala. As more colleagues get involved we’re seeing more creative and innovative ways to improve both healthcare for our communities and our colleagues’ well-being.”

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