Walking Socks off for Guide Dogs

100,000 steps over 7 days

Kate has signed up with JustGiving to walk 100,000 steps in 7 days starting 10th May, for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

A cause close to her heart that she has supported since first working with the organisation aged 14, and now delivering fundraising talks for them, the 7 days will need about 14,500 a day to reach the target.

Hoping for fine weather and in the company of office junior, Jaffa and no doubt grandson Connor who will come along in his pram for some regular walks, this is a great way to mark May being National Walking month.

….watch this space for updates!  If you’d like to donate, the JustGiving page link is below:-







Evaluation forms and pre-course briefing

All our trainers ask delegates to complete evaluation forms after a training day.  This includes 3 changes they intend to implement as a result of the day and we share this thFLCQ0MOJwith their managers to provide ongoing assessment of the impact of the learning.   Sometimes clients use their own forms, which is absolutely fine, and we only ask for copies as they form part of the quality control we implement for our trainers.

For a while we contemplated doing online evaluations, but in discussions with clients and delegates, the majority agreed that these just do not get done when the delegates are back in the busy workplace, and the opportunity to evaluate the learning is lost for both provider and client.

We do recognise that sometimes delegates like to complete the forms and sprint from the training room and often on reflection, they have additional thoughts.  This is why we feel it is essential for us to follow up after the training to see if the commissioning manager have had any verbal or other written thoughts from the attendees.

In addition, we feel it is important for delegates to think about their own learning objectives prior to the training – this often avoids the “I’ve been sent on the course but don’t know why” response that is sometimes the answer at the start of the day.  We send these out a couple of weeks before the training and ask for them to be distributed to all those who will be attending, for them to complete and take with them on the day.

Without honest feedback from delegates, the opportunity to address any issues, or to tailor content further for future courses is lost.  We are passionate about not providing “off the shelf” solutions for clients.  Each business has individual requirements and each group of delegates has differing needs and in order for clients to receive the best return on investment, we need to ensure an ongoing dialogue to review and check they are getting what they need.

If preferred delegates can complete the forms after the training and return directly to their manager or email through to us rather than giving to the trainer at the end of the day.

Flexibility, honesty and adaptability, makes working with clients and their staff a rewarding experience for all.

Courses for Individual members of staff – public events in April/May


One day events – Chilston Park, Lenham, just off Junction 8 of M20

All one day courses priced at £199 per person – delegates just need to turn up – we provide everything including a working lunch!

We’re delighted the public courses are proving popular with clients.  The opportunity to ensure individual members of staff are trained in identified areas of development without busting the overall training budget is definitely hitting the mark with large and smaller companies.

24/4/19 – Customer Service Excellence – making you stand out from your competitors.  This can be a challenge when price isn’t always the differentiator so looking at what else you can do to set yourselves apart is crucial in being the first option when clients have a choice.

30/4/19 – Time Management – like it or not, there is a finite amount of time in a day and being able to plan and proactively manage diaries, appointments, meetings and events is beneficial for everyone.  If you feel you are constantly fire-fighting and would like some top tips and techniques for managing your time more effectively, this one day course will give you what you need to take control.

28/5/19 – Introduction to Supervisory Management – also known as “How to manage my mates”! This one day course for inexperienced supervisors and first line managers provides the grounding in everything from motivating others, leading a team, communicating effectively and handling under performing staff.  A great event that sets them on the road to being a great manager.

Many of our delegates for the 8 module public course – Getting to Grips with Management – attend this one day event in advance of the more intensive programme, to get a high level overview of management techniques, which are then explored and developed in greater depth during the Getting to grips with management modules.

If you would like to reserve a place on the May event, do call 01892 830259 or email kate@athelbrae.co.uk to book.  £199 +VAT to help your supervisors on the path to being confident, engaged and enthusiastic managers.

Pushing yourself outside the comfort zone – what’s stopping you?

comfortzone-2Last night was a foodie night – catching up on #GBBO for Stand Up 2 Cancer with 4 “celebrities” and then MasterChef finals.   Don’t worry, no spoiler alerts needed if you haven’t yet watched!

Seeing people working outside their comfort zones reminds us all that sometimes we need to push ourselves beyond what we think is safe and secure.  It is challenging; it can be frightening; it may not work and as in the case of Jeremy Paxman, you may make a complete fool of yourself with a biscuit mix.

Taking the plunge as a new business

We have recently been working with a new business on their marketing strategy.  They’ve left the safe world of retail, to strike out on their own, developing a completely new business and client base.  It’s brave, it’s a bit scary, but they are the first to admit that it is also liberating and energising.

The MasterChef finalists were cooking at the Royal Society for explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his guests at a dinner celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Transglobe expedition.  The world’s first expedition to circumnavigate the globe via both the south and north poles was the first of its kind and has never been repeated.

How difficult must it have been for those intrepid explorers to set out on their journey with all manner of known and more importantly unknown hazards facing them?

Taking responsibility for our own opportunities

Whilst we aren’t all endowed with the adventurer’s spirit, or indeed, the capacity to cook on television (either to Michelin standards or below), we do have the wherewithal to look for opportunities in our professional and personal lives to stretch ourselves and see just what we are capable of.

Very often in performance management, the employer is the one looking at opportunities for the individual to achieve and experience new opportunities outside their usual job role. But we all have a duty to ourselves to embrace the opportunity to face the fear of the unknown – who knows, we may just find that we like what we find and we are ultimately pretty good at it!

Meet the Trainer – Sarah Gorbutt

Sarah G

This month we are featuring Sarah Gorbutt – Sarah joined Athelbrae at the end of 2018 having had a very successful and varied career.  She started in Telephone sales working call centres.

As with all our Associates, she has a wealth of experience in different sectors and life skills which have included her qualifying and working as an aerobic instructor, childminder, qualifying as a teacher and for 11 years, she was leading one of the largest primary schools in London as Headteacher. Under her leadership, the school moved from being one of the worst schools in Lewisham to Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ in just 4 years! So, she’s well experienced in dealing with challenges, change and transformative leadership, motivating staff and she understands that to get the best from people it is essential to help them to understand their role and their individual and shared responsibilities within an organisation.  She believes successful organisations are those that value good communication, are not afraid to ask themselves challenging questions and, whatever their size, are nimble in attitude and ready for change.

Her philosophy is that training and learning is a valuable investment which should be active, accessible and enjoyable. She believes that training must impact on practice and approach back in the workplace.

Sarah is a former aerobics instructor and a keen participant of Zumba.  She is also a singer and musician in two function bands. She sails with her partner in the UK and Europe and enjoys live music, film, cycling and walking.

Employment Law for April 2019 – 2 hour espresso session for HR & Office Managers

Last few places remaining on our Espresso session on 25th March at Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham – just 10 minutes from Junction 8 of the M20.

8.30 – 10.30 with industry specialist Janice on all aspects of updates and changes to employment issues from April 2019 including the potential impact of Brexit….assuming we’ll be in or out by then!

This 2 hour Q&A session is designed specifically for HR and Office Managers who are responsible for all aspects of employee interaction.

To book your seat, email kate@athelbrae.co.uk or call 01892 832059

Just £75 per person and the hotel are supplying bacon rolls on arrival and plenty of refreshments.

We have a large number of HR staff from across South East business so a great opportunity to network with colleagues too.

kate@athelbrae.co.uk or 01892 832059 to book one of the last remaining seats.