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Working safely through COVID-19: Kathryn Jackson Coaching

Kathryn Jackson Coaching Kathryn Jackson Coaching

Difficult times really do bring people together!

Having worked in the nuclear industry sector for 16 of my 30 years in business, I spent the last six years here in Cumbria working with and for one of the best communities I have lived.

Spending four years working for a nuclear new build organisation here in Cumbria taught me a lot about the local community and its supply chain.  It was from here that I decided to take the massive leap of faith and set up my personal development coaching business, Kathryn Jackson Coaching.  That leap was both scary and very exciting - I developed great resilience and strength by managing my way through change and it has resulted in me finding my purpose in life and having the best job ever, as cheesy as it sounds!

Having spent the last two years developing my business into what is a trusting, authentic and loyal service to many people in Cumbria and beyond, the change that then hit us all – COVID-19 – impacted me and my business, literally from day one.

Whilst I understood why many clients were pausing their work, it was still a shock to the system and although I consider myself pretty resilient, I could still see and feel the impact it was having on me and my business.

If this is what I was going through, I knew others must be feeling this more so.  I was talking to people who were sharing their very own heart-breaking stories of the effect it was having on them and their loved ones.

My instant reaction was how could I support these people around me, how could I use my skills and experience in helping them to help themselves now but also in the long term – this was going to have a long-term effect on our community and its economy, of which I was part of and very passionate about.

One of my personal challenges was doing anything to camera and I haven’t always found presenting easy, however, the drive to support others soon took over and led to the idea of a new YouTube Community Support channel – Engage You Cumbria.

I knew I couldn’t do this alone which led me to speak with Claire from Better Bodies UK in Whitehaven.  Claire and I both run our businesses in West Cumbria and have both experienced the amazing sense of community spirit there is here. This spirit also drove us to both volunteer in the area. Claire, a first responder and myself in schools inspiring our future leaders.

We began to share stories of how isolated people really were and how it was negatively affecting their wellbeing and physical health. After no time at all we had talked ourselves into launching a online YouTube channel that aims to support and energise those isolated and with little engagement to enable them to help themselves. As more people become isolated and the kids were also off school, we decided to widen our reach to anyone that wanted to join in - kids, parents, grandparents and those that were looking for something other than the news on Coronavirus.  This led us to speak with a friend’s 11-year-old son, Alfie, who already owned his own YouTube channel and could support us in the technical aspects of editing.

We launched our very first broadcast at the beginning of April which was a short video explaining why and what Engage You Cumbria was about, followed by a 30 minute broadcast with special features, guest guidance and support. We now release a broadcast every week.

Many people understandably feel out of control in this COVID-19 situation, so we wanted our audience to have some control back in their lives which can bring hope and help us shape and develop this channel with ideas, features, guests and anything that they feel would support others in the community to maintain their wellbeing at such a difficult time.

This situation really has encouraged us to adapt to what is going on around us, to utilise our skills and support others that may benefit from us.  In addition to this, the project and opportunity has taught me a lot personally and pushed me out of my comfort zone which I will take away as a positive.

Engage You Cumbria can be found on Facebook and YouTube.

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