​Mind over matter: how to take care of our health & wellbeing – with Jon Robson

Hi, I’m Jon Robson, founder of the Lighthouse Healing Academy.

I’m one of four children and grew up in Kent, England. Our mum suffered from epilepsy her whole life. In the year 2000 she died during an epileptic seizure. I was 17 at the time. It was such a massive shocking event for us and a huge wake-up call that life can be so fragile and that we are to pay attention.

For a couple of years after our mum’s passing, I really had a challenging time. My eldest brother, Darren, visited me and asked three questions: Where are you going? If you keep moving in this trajectory, where are you going to be in 10 years? I knew it was leading to nowhere good. Then he asked, where would you love to be in 10 years’ time from now? I replied: “anywhere different”.  

His 3rd question was asking me what I wanted to do with my life? I responded immediately “I want to help people with their health”. It just rose up within me, like that quiet voice – connected to your intuition. I had a knowing inside of me that as human beings we weren’t designed to be sick or manage symptoms with medication for our entire lives.

With the newfound direction in mind, I registered for a course and became trained as a sports massage therapist, nutrition coach, and personal trainer. I was so excited to be learning about anatomy, physiology, nutrition and how the body works and functions. I just came alive. It felt so good energetically.

In 2005, I began studying NLP, psychology and coaching. I explored the relationship between our beliefs, values, memories, the decisions we make and how that has an impact on our health and wellbeing.

In 2006 I began training in martial arts, Sanshou (Chinese kickboxing). My teachers were 34th generation Shaolin monks from China, based in London. In 2006 I set myself a goal to be world champion within five years. Within eight months, I was British champion. Within one year, in October 2007, I was representing Great Britain competing in the world championships in Beijing, China.

Physically, I was in ridiculous shape. Mentally I realised I wasn’t so well. At the Championships I did a late kick, which is an illegal move that got me disqualified. I knew it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t in control of my mind in that moment. I realised I had a lot of unresolved anger from my childhood, that was affecting my psychology.

I came across Dr. John Demartini in 2008. I flew out to Texas to take part in a teacher training program. This is where I had the most profound breakthrough healing experience. I volunteered to go up on stage in a live audience coaching session with Dr. John Demartini.

After the breakthrough experience, I couldn’t believe how much my energy shifted. I felt like a new state of flow in my being. I felt like water and had such flowing energy. It was like years of tension had just shifted from my body. Since I was 12 years old, I had bronchiole asthma. In the months to come, my asthma completely cleared. My blood pressure and heart rate dropped and my musculoskeletal system completely relaxed.

I didn’t realise how much the traumas we hold inside of our mind deeply impact our health and wellbeing every day on such an unconscious level.

When I returned from the training in the US, I also came across META-Medicine. META-Medicine teaches the principles of how specific types of traumatic life events become expressed as specific types of symptoms and illnesses in the body and mind.

As I studied further, the pennies were really dropping. It was just making so much sense to me. But there was still this skeptic in me, so I started to play with the work to test its validity in real-world application. When working with clients, in every case the work proved to be accurate and revealing of shifts to be made to aid their health and healing journeys.

By 2010, I was certified as a Practitioner and Trainer of this work. By 2013, I qualified as a Master Practitioner and Master Trainer of META-Medicine, one of only 22 Master Trainers around the world.

If we scan our body, and scan our life, we all have different physiological and maybe some psychological challenges that we’re facing or processing. Or, we have those around us that have some challenges that we want to learn and understand for ourselves so we can help them move forward.

The ‘Introduction to the Science of Illness, Health, and Healing’ is the culmination of my career spanning over 20 years as a personal trainer, sports massage therapist, nutritionist coach, martial arts champion and an Integrative Healthcare Specialist. I now help people overcome serious chronic illnesses, like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, different muscular-skeletal aches, pain problems and trauma and train others to do the same.

It’s essential to understand that healing is a journey. It is a process. Many of us have experienced such challenging lives and can be experiencing such a compromised state of physical and mental health.

Sometimes the level of help and assistance needed has different layers and levels based on the degree of intensity of someone’s experience. That’s why I founded Lighthouse Healing Academy. Through LHA we run courses based on an integrative model of healthcare to help people to make profound shifts in their health and healing and overcome significant chronic illness.

To find out more about Jon, his work and his programmes, please visit Lighthouse Healing Academy

​How mindfulness created more Paralympic champions

In 2008, during his first ever Paralympic Games at Beijing, Greg Baker, head coach of the British Para Table Tennis team, had a big realisation. One, that was to become a defining moment in his career.

Here, MOE creative story director Natalie Cooper, discovers more in this interview.

Picture the Beijing Olympic stadium. Imagine the crowd is roaring, and China being the ‘home’ of table tennis, there was a lot at stake. “You have one moment to deliver,” says Greg.

Walking into the table tennis arena, Greg felt his nerves get the better of him. Overcome by anxiety, he realised: “I wasn’t ready for that moment. As a coach, my heart was going, my pulse was racing, I was sweating.” This feeling was to end up shadowing his whole 2008 Games experience.

“Being so close to the action, as a coach, you’re able to shape and influence the athlete.” He explains the coach in table tennis is able to talk to the athlete after every set. You have a ‘time out’ allowance, once per match.

During Beijing, while the athlete was looking to Greg for reassurance, and to talk tactics, Greg was instead gripped by self-doubt, thinking: “I’m not ready to coach in this high-pressured moment.”

The stress and expectations got to Greg. He admits he wasn’t fully present with his athlete. This changed the way he was able to normally coach and his focus on the athlete was not where it should have quite been during these Games.

Walking away with no medals to celebrate, Greg left Beijing questioning whether he was cut out for this. “I really had to reflect on how I was feeling and why I acted the way I did,” he says. “I thought to myself, I don’t want to be in that situation ever again. I asked myself, can you do this? Are you ready for this role? What do I need to do to prepare for the next Games?”

Journey of resilience

After some soul searching, Greg was able to decompress: “Leading up to Beijing, I was very focused on the athlete. Trying to help the athletes prepare to achieve their best, but I forgot about myself. I realised before I can empower and lead others, I need to put my ‘self’ first.”

It was this big realisation that spurred Greg into action. This led him to enrolling in the ‘World Class Coaching Programme’ at Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School, between 2008-2009.

“I wanted to find out how can we be more in tune with ourselves and examine how we behave under pressure,” searches Greg. This was the start of a personal development coaching process to learn the tools of how to cope with stress under extreme pressure ¬– that underpins both elite sports coaching and leadership.

“What happened to me in Beijing got me thinking about how we make decisions and manage our emotions. In sport we love to fail, we’re constantly pushing boundaries in training to maintain success or get to the next chapter,” he comments. “We have to know how to keep moving forward, and what lessons are being learnt from failure.”

He continues: “What I learnt from executive coaching practice and working with clients in business, helped me to know how to ask some really deep, meaningful, proactive questions back in the sporting world. I was more in tune with the athletes. ‘Let’s take stock’, ‘let’s pause’. ‘What can we learn from the future and then what do we need to implement now, to get there’, and ‘how do we bring about the best possible moment under pressure’,” he adds.

Psychological flexibility

“It’s accepted that to be successful in sport, we’re going to fail a million times,” states Greg. “The mindset of a high performance coach or athlete, is to understand our behaviour preference – do I still need to adapt or what’s needed for me? We constantly talk about adapting, being unfamiliar with the familiar. It’s all about finding the edges and differences.”

Behind every athlete is a multi-disciplinary team made up of coaches, a head of performance support (HoPS), psychologists, backed up by sports science, and world class tools and techniques. Greg also went on to enrol on the UK Sport ‘Elite Coaching Programme’ in 2010-2011.

“Stress will not disappear,” declares Greg. “Preparation for the Games is about the compass of four, eight and even, 12 years, worth of dedication. When you arrive at the Games, the pressure and expectation goes through the roof. So, how can we channel those thoughts and feelings, but not avoid or ignore them? As coaches and athletes, it’s about being resilient and how ready we can adapt in the moment.”

Greg’s blended coaching approach of executive leadership and elite, high performance, world-class coaching – paid off. At the London 2012 Games, the para table tennis team won four medals: 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. It was a successful Games and exceeded expectations, meeting the maximum medal target expected from UK Sport.

However, with Rio taking place in 2016, team and individual performance plans never stand still. “We’re always looking ahead, thinking, where do we go next to keep succeeding and excelling,” says Greg.

Before Rio 2016, came the World Championships in 2014, held in China. When Greg arrived at these Championships, he was personally struggling from jetlag, and lack of sleep. He describes: “I was suffering from a post London 2012 slump. Everything had been all geared towards this event with tunnel vision. I asked myself, is this what success feels like? I started suffering flashbacks from 2008. My slump, jetlag and fear, raised up these threats of anxiety again that I experienced back then.”

So Greg decided to turn to the team psychologist asking for guidance. The psychologist used mindfulness techniques on him. “It helped me personally in that moment. Brought my mind back to what’s important here and what’s not important in terms of thoughts,” Greg reassures. “What can I control and what can’t I control? If I went into panic, the breathing grounded me. It refocused my mind.

Mindfulness intervention

“Although I’d come across mindfulness at the end of 2012 as a potential performance enhancing tool, I hadn’t really connected with it until now. We did really well during the World Championships, and I thanked the psychologist at the time. It got me thinking, how do we bring mindfulness in as a coaching intervention and use it to help us act on feeling, thought, or be able to let our emotions sit with us?,” he questions.

This was to become a real game changer. Based on Greg’s own personal experience at the World Championships, he set about evidencing how mindfulness could be used to improve psychological flexibility, and gain medal wins with more athletes being able to step onto the podium.

Here, Greg makes reference to basketball player Michael Jordan when he played for the Chicago Bulls back in the 1990s. George Mumford, now author of ‘The Mindful Athlete’ introduced mindfulness to the players on how to stay present in the moment to make really good decisions. Michael Jordan himself credits Mumford and his mindfulness techniques with transforming his on-court leadership. The Bulls were unstoppable during that time.

Greg also collected data from Goldsmiths, University of London, where the university had partnered with an investment bank in a controlled group experiment. To measure if using mindfulness could help a team make more money, create better client relationships, improve wellbeing and psychological flexibility. It proved that this was the case.

“What it takes for one athlete to get to the top, isn’t the same for another athlete,” says Greg. “In sport, there is a well-used analogy: ‘what’s going to make the boat go faster?’. Every athlete around the world can prepare technically and physically, but what sets them apart? We talk daily what’s going to make the biggest difference to gain that competitive advantage. Else it’s coming down to too much chance. No stone is left unturned.”

In March 2015 until September 2016, Greg took mindfulness to a team of Olympic sports coaches and put in place an 18-month mindfulness intervention programme among them. The athletes were unaware that their coaches were on this programme intervention. Greg wanted to measure the effectiveness of whether the coaches using this tool for themselves, also had any direct impact on an athlete’s performance.

The results?

All the scores were higher across all measures. “Mindfulness is not just about how to make us feel good or reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. It’s all geared towards raising the athlete’s performance,” argues Greg.

Following the intervention process, the athletes were informed. They reported they felt higher levels of support as well as high levels of challenge from their coaches. Moving away from transactional to more transformational coaching where coaches asked better questions under pressure. The coaches were more intuitive as to when the athlete was to take time out and when not to take time out.

Greg reveals: “Overall, the intervention demonstrated that bringing in mindfulness could create more values led and collaborative relationships – absolutely leading to higher medal wins.”

The proof of this was realised during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It was the para table team’s most successful games in terms of gold medals, gaining two gold medals and one bronze medal – the best Paralympic Games in the history of the sport.

With his executive coach hat on, Greg sees a lot of similarities between the world of sport and corporate life. “What people don’t realise about athletes, is that they can experience a lot of loss and failure. They can lose significant investment in funding, lose their mortgage or left unable to feed their families,” he says.

“There’s a lot at risk,” Greg admits. “Athletes don’t fail in a ‘safe environment’, they fail at European and World Championships. They can experience significant stress and loss of sponsorship deals. However, when the vision isn’t clear, and not everyone has buy-in to it, this leads to confusion and stress with everyone going off on all different routes. Just like in the corporate world, where leaders and employees suffer anxiety, stress and feeling the pressure to perform under tense conditions.”

Greg asks, so how do we combine wellbeing and performance together? “If we can do that, we can have some really good outcomes,” he answers.

A remarkable journey of success

Such is his belief in the power of mindfulness as a coaching tool, he argues the benefits are huge to both the sporting world, and within organisations. He says: “If you have less stress in the workplace, and you can make better decisions under pressure, we can have much better values led conversations. At first mindfulness can feel uncomfortable. You’re holding the mirror up to yourself.

Over the last five years, this idea of using mindfulness and adaptability to better performance has helped British Para Table Tennis go from competitors on the world stage to a world leading performance system. The team won a record breaking 7 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the world class programme and coaching that Greg put in place.

Likewise, it has assisted athletes to take ownership, empower them to increase autonomy and be able to make critical decisions under extreme pressure.

Managing stress, thoughts and feelings

“When we have anxiety and going through these sorts of thoughts, feelings and emotions, we’re much more able to manage stress in a way that doesn’t overtake us. In turn, when we feel in a safe space, we can become far more creative and innovative.”

He likens the power of mindfulness to a gladiator waiting to go into battle with your opponent standing next to you. “In the world of sport, where you have to wait in a cool area for 40 minutes before you go on set to play before a roaring crowd, knowing you’ll be watched by millions of people around the globe, you also have to sign in, conduct equipment and sponsorship checks, and be in the same room as the umpires. It can be nerve-wracking and intimidating. This makes for a highly charged, tense environment.

“Yet, if we can use mindfulness to clear our thoughts under what can feel like almost a ‘life or death’ experience, we can become bold in the here and now, for our future to be brighter.

Greg leaves leaders who are sceptical about mindfulness with this thought. “The rewards and investment of bringing mindfulness into the workplace, totally far outweigh any thoughts of leadership cynicism,” he says.

“Imagine employees who were working 60-hour weeks, halved their hours to 30, but bringing in mindfulness enables them to maximise their energy and performance, so their productivity doubles. Faced with pressure, stress and anxiety, if we can learn to manage it well, we can all make better informed decisions in the moment.” Greg concludes.

​How can you become a mental health first aider?

Here, Nadine Robson, MOE trustee and founder of Dragonfly Wellness Dorset, reveals what led to her calling to help people with their mental wellbeing, and how life affirming it can be when you have the tools and coaching know-how to guide others when they’re in need. 

If you want to understand more about the Mental Health First Aid England course, you can discover in this interview with Nadine, what’s involved on the course. While also learning how it can add and grow your own coaching skills in the service of aiding others in managing their wellbeing.

​A MOE journey: the power of coaching and mental health awareness

In the four years Mark Bixter has been working for MOE as a lead trainer, here, we talk about his MOE journey.

We discover in this Q&A, how his values have guided his coaching to work with charities Spark Inside, working with prison inmates, Breaking Barriers, set up to help integrate refugees through employment, Young Women’s Trust, with the mission that: ‘No young woman gets left behind’, mental health charity Sanctus and social work charity Frontline.

We talk mental health, the Covid pandemic and Mark’s experiences of how coaching has the power to change ourselves for the better.

Career journey to date

I’ve had a squiggly career and jumped around sectors and roles. I originally trained and worked as an actor for seven years, then following a career development programme with the National Theatre, I moved into theatre producing.

I worked on a variety of events from new writing festivals, to large-scale one-off events and even staged an opera in a warehouse in Peckham. From producing theatre, I then started producing creative projects within the criminal justice sector which eventually led to my next career spending seven years in senior leadership teams within small charities.

This in turn led me to coaching which I originally did part-time alongside working in charities until January 2020, when I moved to a fully freelance life. I now coach four days a week and look after my toddler on the 5th day. I also work as a celebrant delivering wedding ceremonies and baby namings – but that’s another story…

Narrative coaching – how does this help engage clients?

Narrative coaching is an approach to coaching developed by Dr David Drake. In its simplest form, it is a way of working that helps people to understand the narratives or stories that they can tell themselves and that can keep them stuck in certain patterns or cycles of behaviours. Once people understand their stories better, they can choose to tell a different one.

What brought you to MOE?

I was working as Managing Director of the charity Spark Inside who deliver life coaching programmes in prisons. While working there I was introduced to MOE and began my coach training. Originally, I had no intention of becoming a coach. I just wanted to understand coaching better as it was what the charity did, but the course was the start of another chapter …

How has MOE impacted you?

MOE has been instrumental in me leading my current life. During the course, I realised that I wasn’t in the right job and it gave me the courage to step away without any clear idea of what the future held, but knowing the time was right for something different.

MOE is an incredible community and support. I have made lifelong friends and colleagues through MOE and it has been a pleasure to see MOE’s continuing evolution.

In what way has having a theatre background helped you to connect with young people, women, refugees, prison inmates, and charities through your coaching?

Good question! I haven’t ever really thought about this. I think there is possibly something in being an actor that requires you to understand a character, to have empathy with their position and get under the skin of what leads them to behave in the way they do.

There are many parallels here with coaching, if we can understand why people behave in the way they do, we can help them to understand it better themselves and then if they want to choose a different way.

Drawing on your coaching with ‘Spark Inside’ and refuge charity ‘Breaking Barriers’, what drove you to working inside prisons and with refugees?

Coaching can be an elitist profession. There is an assumption that the more senior the person you coach, and the more you can charge, then the better the coaching is.

I fundamentally disagree with this approach. When I began coaching, I was always keen to make it accessible and wanted to coach people who may not otherwise receive it. I was less interested in working with C-suite clients in large corporations.

I was interested in what coaching could offer to everyone. This has been the starting point of my coaching business and has always been the kind of work I like to do. With this in mind I have sought to work with organisations that have values that align with mine.

To this end I have returned to Spark Inside to work as a coach inside prisons. I work with Young Women’s Trust – a feminist charity supporting women furthest from power. I coach with Sanctus supporting staff in organisations with their mental health and also work for Frontline coaching newly qualified social workers.

Drawing on all your coaching experiences, knowledge and wisdom, working with some of the hardest to reach populations, what’s your own values and vision for a brighter future?

I don’t see the people I work with as hard to reach. They are living their lives in their own communities in the way that makes sense to them. They would not describe themselves as hard to reach. The phrase hard to reach says a lot more about the people seeking to reach them than it does the people themselves.

I think this idea sits at the heart of my values and vision. My role is to meet people where they are, understand what is going on in their world, discover what they would like to be different and start moving towards the alternative.

That remains the same whether it’s a young man sat in a prison cell or the director of marketing at a tech start-up. The more people can step into a life that is right for them the brighter the future will be for everyone.

Power of MOE courses – transformational moements

I see this happen on every course with people starting on day one. Unsure of what to expect, what they’re capable of, and then coming out of the other side with greater belief in their ability. With a new perspective on how they see the world and the relationships they hold.

There are little examples of things like people wanting to sign up for a course, but they’ve been too scared and put it off for months. Then they take the plunge and get stuck in.

There are people who have changed their parenting styles and have improved their relationships with their children. There are people who have become more present in their relationships and started listening to their partners in a new way. There are people who have taken the leap and set up new businesses.

Overall, I think my favourite moments are the people who arrive lacking self-belief, but through the learning and practice, see their confidence grow and by the end of the course, are able to recognise their own value. They have a greater sense of who they are in the world and feel better able to confront it.

Tempted to join the trainer pathway?

Delivering the courses continues to teach me about coaching and has helped me become a better coach and understand the principles behind it. I have also made some wonderful connections and friends. I’ve also been employed by participants I’ve trained who have gone on to set up their own businesses, so it’s got me some work!

To anyone thinking of beginning the trainer pathway I’d say just go for it! Short of actually coaching, it is one of the most helpful things to do to learn and grow as a coach. It also develops facilitation skills and confidence, and consolidates your own learning. 

The trainer pathway has been created in such a way to allow you to start small and build up to delivering more difficult sections of the course, so you will never feel like you’re out of your depth.

The first time you join the training team you can simply observe, share your observations and understand the logistics. From there you can start facilitating debriefs following coaching demonstrations, and when you feel ready, delivering demos yourself. There’s lots of support along the way and you don’t need to go faster than you’re ready too. 

I was lucky on my own journey to becoming a lead trainer, in that I had some time off, so was able to join a lot of courses in quick succession. This enabled me to learn quickly and intensively, and to see how different lead trainers ran the course.

However you do the trainer pathway though, whether it takes a few months or a couple of years to become a lead trainer, there’s support all along the way. 

It’s also worth saying that you don’t need to want to be a lead trainer to join the training team. If you enjoy being part of the courses and have time to give, you can continue to support in the way that feels good for you. Wherever you’re at, just give it a go! 

Let’s talk mental health

I think there is an inherent assumption with the term ‘mental health’ that it only exists when it is bad and so conversations around mental health can typically start and end with that lens.

I believe that we all have mental health all the time, every hour of every day. Sometimes our mental health is great and we’re looking for the next challenge or enjoying life connecting with those around us.

At other times, our mental health is not so good, and we can feel frustrated, anxious, sad or a whole range of other stuff. Whatever state we’re in, we have mental health. Our mental health is part of being human. 

Impact of Covid on the wider population? 

Regarding Covid there has definitely been an impact; removing people’s ability to connect with others in a meaningful way has led to many challenges for people ranging from anxiety to isolation, worry and a lack of trust.

However, there is another side to this where Covid has provided the opportunity for people to reassess what is important. To change their lifestyles, jobs, homes and create a new life that is ultimately more suited to them.

Whilst nobody would wish a global pandemic, it has provided a space for people to connect to themselves, so it has been a mixed picture.

In times of what can be to some, very dark times, how can coaching improve mental health and empower others who feel powerless and hopeless, to see there can be another way? 

With such a glut of bad news swirling around it can be incredibly overwhelming and the pressure to feel as though we need to solve all the world’s problems can sometimes be too much.

Every person will be on their own individual journey with this and coaching has a role in helping people take ownership of what they can do rather than a focus on the enormity of what they can’t.

It starts with looking after yourself. As the much-used example of the flight attendant’s speech before take-off says, if the oxygen masks drop down, please put your own on first before going to help others. This can be extrapolated into much bigger issues; take care of your own wellbeing first, only then can you be of best service to others.

Then start to look at what you can do to help and take action; a small gesture is better than no gesture. Maybe it’s donating to a food bank, maybe it’s picking up a prescription for a neighbour who is self-isolating, maybe it’s eating less meat to help the planet, maybe it’s emailing your MP, these small acts multiplied can have big impact. 

What’s your message to others feeling a bit lost right now or if someone is feeling alone, withdrawing, shutting themselves away? 

The first thing is to recognise that feeling lost or having an urge to withdraw is a normal experience and one that everyone will have at some point. Start with self-compassion and don’t judge your experience as good or bad, but try to look at in terms of it being helpful or useful for you. Telling yourself that it’s bad to shut yourself away for a bit doesn’t really help anyone, maybe that is exactly what you need and it is helpful for your self-care, so embrace it and take that time for yourself.

On the other hand, if you shut yourself away but it isn’t helping you and makes you feel worse or more alone, then start to think about what would be helpful for you. Maybe it’s going outside for a long walk and connecting to nature. Maybe it’s spending time with those you trust and love. Stay attuned to how you’re feeling, keep checking in with yourself and ask what is the most helpful or useful thing I can do for myself today and act on that.

Hope for humanity. How can we look out for one another?

Wow that’s a big one! I’d quite like to share a quote from Anton Chekhov where he says:

‘Man will become better when you show him what he is like’

If we can all see ourselves a little better, then we can start to make changes. Awareness is key. Once we are aware of how we show up and how we behave, we can start to do something about it, and we can help others see this too.

We all have the power to change ourselves for the better, to look within and address our own biases and see where our behaviour might be negatively impacting others. Where are we not being inclusive? Where are we not aware of our privilege?

What are those mini assumptions we’re making about people of another sex, race or gender or of refugees or of people in prison? It’s an ongoing process and as humans we will never complete this work, but if we lead with kindness, love and compassion then a better world awaits.

For more information on our Mental Health First Aid Course please click here:

Would you like to be featured on the blog?

As a community, we are inspired by the many stories we come across about how MOE has supported and impacted change makers.

We would very much like to invite you share your story with our ever-growing community. We are interested in your changemaker journey and your experience with MOE. As we work to grow our community, it is important to us that we continue to showcase the wonderful people in our community. 

  • To connect for storytelling on the blog:

Contact: Natalie Cooper, creative story director

Email: nataliec@moefoundation.com

  • To be featured on Podventures or MOE Digital Academy:

Contact: Jo Wright, Marketing and Media

Email: jo@moefoundation.com

  • To become an MOE community ambassador:

Contact: Raissa Aude, community engagement director

Email: raissau@moefoundation.com

​Share Your Voice – MOE 5.0

In January 2012 I stood up in front of a small number of family, friends and my professional community and declared I/we would like to begin to make a positive contribution to young people from less privileged backgrounds.

Therefore keeping a Robson Family promise that we had made at our mum’s funeral to create a charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Little would I, and we, collectively appreciate that 9 years on, MOE is rapidly closing in on having gifted £3 million worth of learning, development and professional support to the young, and the now not so young.

We have a community of over 1100 MOE Certified Coaches that’s helped launch in excess of 100 small purposefully focused businesses out to the world through our thriving community.

That we would dynamically evolve the charity to become a 4th iteration that is now known affectionally as MOE, with a community that spans 16 countries and that is brimming with incredible creative talent, change-makers and builders.

We consciously set out to offer a home for the ‘crazy ones’ as the famous Apple advert says as we collectively see the genius in everyone and help them to find their life’s meaning, purpose, service and contribution – my TEDx talk still rings true as the basis and foundations of the essence created back in 2012:

MOE is now preparing to Launch MOE 5.0 as we reflect upon 10 years of gifted contribution in January 2022, whilst celebrating all the successes and learnings with our community and their families in London.

Along with the Trustees, our MOE HQ team, our MOE Contributor Team we would love to hear our MOE Families (Community) VOICE as we step back to review the global context within which MOE operates and listen, listen, listen to identify how we can make global, worldwide contribution and impact.

Please take 5 mins to share your voice and heartfelt thanx for being part of MOE (and if you can do it by Friday 23rd July it would be amazing and appreciated – we are ready and waiting to hear your thoughts and take action!)

We are deeply proud of what has been co-created by this creative collaborative community and we look forward to venturing forwards with you, together – winning togetherness as always with us.

Love and best wishes
d on behalf of MOE

​MOE Digital Academy

MOE Digital Academy (MDA) is a high-octane collaborative discussion series allowing exclusive access to impactful local and global contributors. MDA offers the MOE community a chance to participate in a vibrant digital discussion space hosted by experts.

MDA launched on Thursday 4th June 2020. Since the launch event, when we kicked off with ‘How to show up when Sh!t happens’, we have opened up the floor to members of our amazing community who have led sessions on areas of their expertise:

Building a community using audio with Rob Lawrence

How to build your confidence as a coach with Nelly Elessa

Understanding your communication style with Ashley Boroda

How to develop your presenting skills with Alasdair Craig

Coaching Conversations around Mental Health with Mark Bixter and Nadine Robson

How to tap into your purpose with Dr Craig Newman

What if you client or colleague has suicidal thoughts? with Marie Faire

Challenging coaching and the FACTS of coaching with Ian Day

Building a business from concept to creation with Hilary McLellan

Develop your presenting skills part 2 with Alasdair Craig

Psychological Flexibility and Mindfulness from High Performance Sport with Greg Baker

Catalysing mass commitment to transformational change with Andrew Gaines

Watch Alasdair sum up takeaways from January’s session here:

MDA needs you!

We are encouraging our amazing community to share their voice, help others and gain a true sense of contribution by sharing wisdom. MOE Digital Academy is a dynamic, safe, virtual community space actively encouraging individuals to live ‘on purpose’ and design a ’life less ordinary’. This virtual meeting place of like-minds inspires, informs and invigorates.

If you have something to share and are interested in leading a MOE Digital Academy, do get in touch!


​How to build a community through audio | MOE Digital Academy with Rob Lawrence

MOE Digital Academy, with thanks to Podcast Expert Rob Lawrence, held an amazing session on 17th July 2020 exploring how to build a community through audio.

For those who joined on the evening, it was enlightening and educating – we know this from the fantastic feedback received.

The session was recorded, and whether you were able to attend in person or whether you are now coming to MOE Digital Academy after the event – this recording is one not to be missed. Packed with top advice from Rob, as well as real-life experience shared by Podcaster (and MOE Graduate) Presence who presents podcast It Starts with Action.

Hopefully the recording below will re-inspire all those who attended, and newly inspire those listening for the first time.

It is planned for more sessions on podcasting to run in the future – keep an eye on your inbox for information as we add more to our calendar.

MOE looks forward to hearing where your podcasting journey takes you!

A huge thank you to Rob Lawrence for supporting the MOE community and sharing his wisdom.

​MOE Community Spotlight Emily Nuttall May 2020

This month it is our pleasure to introduce you to Emily Nuttall, an active and valued member of the MOE Community.

Emily initially found out about the MOE Foundation, back in 2015, when she was involved in another non-profit project over on the Channel Islands.

She knew she wanted to make a real difference in her hometown, and by chance was signposted to MOE – with that frequently heard comment ‘You should talk to MOE’. Not knowing who or what MOE was at the time, Emily took the well-intentioned advice, did talk to us, and began her journey.

Her first step was attending the MOE Coach Training Course that ran in Guernsey that year, and graduating as a MOE Certified Coach. Three years later Emily was one of the inspirational speakers at our conference, MOEvement 2018, sharing her emotional and empowering story.

“Being part of the MOE Community is like being part of a big family. You are encouraged to be yourself, to be an individual – yet you are never on your own. That connection to others, with similar passions, inspires you to be the best you can be. It opens up learning experiences and new opportunities that you wouldn’t necessarily get in your everyday life. I have used skills learned from the coach training course that I never thought I would have, it has empowered me, and helped me to understand who I truly am as a person – which has also allowed me to share this understanding of myself with countless more individuals in the work that I now do as a disability sports coach, mental health campaigner champion, ambassador and speaker. “

A big step for Emily was putting herself forward to speak at the first conference, MOEvement 2016. Although she was selected to share her powerful story, Emily unfortunately was not well enough to attend, in fact she was in hospital at that time. Knowing that Emily’s story needed to be heard, she was encouraged to reapply to speak at the next conference two years later.

“In the lead up to speaking at MOEvement 2018 I was terrified, I would be speaking in a room where I knew some of the community but there would be others I did not know – and I’m a naturally shy person. I needn’t have been concerned, being part of MOE is being part of a supportive family – a family that is non-judgemental. They’re on your side. This was my first experience of public speaking, and it gave me such a confidence boost. It has led to me speaking at other events. Listening to the other speakers at the conference was so inspirational, and I learned many new things. Being part of MOEvement 2018, alongside attending the MOE coach training course and being part of the community, has made me believe in myself so much more and has helped me develop as an individual. This development continues to give me so much strength and hope with my ongoing recovery from anorexia, mental health issues and my disabilities, and has allowed me to realise that I do have a positive future ahead of me where I can be free, healthy and happy. I want to continue to share with others and help everyone be the best that they can be, just like the MOE message, because the light at the end of the tunnel is somewhere in sight – it will be a hard battle, but worth the fight”.

Emily’s memorable and motivating talk ‘Behind the Mask’ is available to watch again on our YouTube Channel and also on Emily’s website.

By sharing her story, Emily wants you to believe in yourself and for you to be your own best friend – she wants you to embrace and remember:

“I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I am meant to be, this is me”

Thank you Emily for being an integral part of the MOE Community, and for supporting others within it.

Me. Others. Everyone

​MOE goes virtual!

MOE is an ambitious organisation and we are continuing our mission to positively impact 1 million people. To enable that mission we have been looking at taking MOE courses (and other new offerings) into the online and virtual space for some time. With Covid-19 impacting how all of us live our lives we have accelerated that work and are excited to announce the launch of our virtual MOE Certified Coach Training Course.

At the end of April we tested our online delivery as we pivoted the final two days of a face-to-face course and carried them out virtually. The course was full of all the energy and enthusiasm that MOE creates and through the commitment of the participants we were able to launch 12 new coaches into the world.

We now know that the model works and as we continue to “trust the process”, we have reflected, amended and re-designed our 5-day coaching course so we can run it virtually. This means we can offer the same course, the same trainers, the same community spirit and connection and the same sense of belonging that comes from being a part of the MOE Community. In fact the only real difference is that the virtual course is run over nine weeks in smaller chunks, with plenty of home practice in between each session. We are incredibly excited to launch this new way of working and the first two courses are already underway as we moved scheduled face to face courses online.

Longer term and when the world allows it we will continue to run face to face coaching skills courses as well as virtual courses. We will take the same approach to the Dream Factory and bring this online and we have a whole raft of other virtual offerings waiting in the wings.  All of this work feeds into the evolution of MOE. In every crisis there is an opportunity and our opportunity is happening now.

We are incredibly grateful to the ongoing support and guidance from Carol Wilson and James Wright at Culture at Work. Carol has gifted the course material to MOE and provided the framework and structure for our virtual course. James has provided invaluable training on how to best deliver the course virtually. Their leadership and wisdom has enabled us to confidently switch to online delivery effectively and efficiently

There will be more online course dates released soon so watch this space and we hope you can join us on our journey…

Mark Bixter
Growth and Positive Impact Director

​MOE lands in Jersey 2019

MOE believes in reinforcing people’s dreams.

It is important to back yourself to achieve your ambitions.

We know through personal and professional experience it is vital in life to build a level of self-awareness, confidence, resilience and optimism.

Knowing how to communicate well with people is an essential skill, both at work and in our personal lives. It’s known that people and building relationships will help to open doors leading to new opportunities.

Learning to build rapport and trust is vital.

Become a coach, develop personally and professionally, and work toward making a difference in your community.

Join us for our accredited coach training course in Jersey, St Helier.

The 5-day course (split into 3 and 2 days, taking place in March and May) will provide you with enhanced communication skills and the ability to build and improve relationships using practical coaching skills.

Our *accredited coaching programme will also empower you to:

  • Identify your purpose
  • Clarify your personal values and what energises you
  • Learn practical coaching skills and the opportunities to firmly embed them by the end of the course
  • Understand what it means to be a purposeful coach and leader
  • Take charge and control of your life and professional career
  • Join a community that aids you in achieving your ambitions
  • Identify the life that you would love to lead
  • Increase your professional credibility

*The MOE Certified Coach Training Course is recognised by the Association for Coaching

Sound amazing? Wondering whether you can afford it? Keep reading…

Thanks to a generous association with Coaching Culture at Work, our corporate training partner, and our coach training team of MOE graduates, we are able to offer this opportunity to suitable and enthusiastic candidates at substantially reduced rates, with some full scholarships also available. This makes our course accessible to all who have a genuine interest in becoming a qualified MOE Coach (the typical cost to organisations for this coaching training course would otherwise be £2500.00). All donations go to the MOE Foundation for reinvestment into young people’s lives.

Interested for yourself?

The dates and location are:

Days 1-3: 20, 21, 22 March 2019

Days 4-5: 2, 3 May 2019

St Helier, Jersey

To apply for this course or to find out more please click here.

Interested for others?

Then spread the word, share this information with your community – whether that be online/virtually like the way Vibrant Jersey is helping us to, or old-fashioned word of mouth!

Remember! Always spread a little MOE wherever you go!