This week Al talks to Dr Bev Meakin, she is a senior Lecturer in Counselling at Staffordshire University and the course leader for the Professional, Postgraduate and MSc courses in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. She also runs a private counselling practice.
Al chats to Dr Meakin about how her own past experiences shaped her career and her desire to help others. She discusses the different patterns she sees in relationships and the future of relationships for the younger generations.
Bryn Ferris is a young entrepreneur and co-founder of Grounded, a plant-based food and beverage company. He talks to Al about the pros and cons of university, discovering the corporate world wasn’t for him and how he created a place in the market for his plant-based produce.
Having arrived at the company over two years ago, he takes us through the development of the products, from the initial idea to the products arriving on shelves in Selfridges, Planet Organic and launching with Gymbox later this month. He provides some key advice to anyone looking to start their own business in a competitive market.
Sam Wardell is the Head of Philosophy at a school in West London. Al and Sam talk about the value of belief systems, the danger of social media being used as a news source and how Philosophy courses are changing. Sam challenges his students to tackle difficult discussions and to contribute despite their own views on that topic. The answer ‘I don’t like that’ isn’t good enough - he wants his students to be able to give reasons in a wide range of conversations, making them better at critically evaluating information.
Ben Brown is a BBC News Presenter and author of 'Sandstealers', a novel about war correspondents. After studying PPE at Oxford, he worked for various news outlets eventually joining the BBC in 1988 . He’s known for his work as a foreign correspondent and front line war journalist, taking him to places such as Moscow, Iraq and Israel. Ben authored another book called, The Battle for Iraq, and he tells Al about his time there, including a near death experience in which a British soldier saved his life. His most significant work was during the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1995, his coverage and stories helped the BBC win a BAFTA.
Al and Ben discuss the evolution of the News over the years and the impact social media has had on coverage, how he handles his own opinions of the news he covers and where the news will go in the future. He offers expert advice to anyone seeking a career in journalism or reporting.
Al spoke to Abed Ahmed, who is a Head of Maths at Washwood Heath Academy in Birmingham and runs stammer support groups for children and for adults. He is the winner of the New Teacher of the Year award. Having developed a stammer at 4 years old, he talks to Al about using Drama exercises to work on his impediment and to build his confidence and resilience.
At 17 years old, he began to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher and at a teach training conference was told to forget about it. Throughout his childhood, growing up in a deprived part of Birmingham, he had a strong sense of wanting to give back to his community and saw teaching as his way to do it. He kept going and eventually, despite setbacks, became the Head of Maths at the college he was taught at.
Angela Hilton is a teacher at Cleves Cross in Ferryhill. Recently she was awarded the Primary School Teacher of the Year prize at the Pearson National Teaching Awards. This was due to her excellence in working with international schools, rights respecting, sustainability, fair trade and learning outside the classroom.
She spoke to Al about exchange visits with partner schools in Sri Lanka and Kenya, she emphasises how important it is for kids in Primary School to start to understand situations and cultures far removed from their own.
David Sharkey is the Head of English at Shiplake College in Henley-on-Thames and is moving to Hampton School to teach English in September. He is a volunteer for the initiative ‘Shout’, which offers in the moment mental health support for people who need it immediately. He is currently a rugby coach for the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) and works in the Developing Player Programme for WASPS rugby club.
David uses his experience in teaching and sports coaching to help redefine masculinity. By having conversations consistently about emotional well-being and mental health, he wants to foster an attitude of sympathy and empathy amongst groups of young men.
David spent the past year exploring how ‘Themes’ in storytelling can be used in rugby and to enhance Cross Curricular Development, learning about how effective this can be for forging team bonds. His aim is to be able to contribute to a group of players/students whilst connecting with them in a common purpose.
Damian Hughes is a Professor of Organisational Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is an Author of seven best-selling books, including ‘The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset’. He is also a Sports Psychology consultant for professional teams including Rugby Union’s Sale Sharks, League’s Warrington Wolves and the Premiership’s West Bromwich Albion. On top of that, he co-hosts the ‘High Performance Podcast’ with Jake Humphrey.
He combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisation and psychology to work as a trusted adviser to business, education and sporting elite, specialising in the creation of high-performance cultures. Sporting icons like Jonny Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Tiger Woods and Sir Ian McGeechan have praised Hughes’s methods of boosting confidence and performance by going back to basics.
He spoke to Al about how culture can be a competitive advantage, the importance of being kind, and much more.
Neil Rollings was a Director of Sport in four of the leading independent schools in Britain for 21 years. He now works to provide training, recruitment and advisory services for modern sports programmes, often working with Headmasters to appoint Directors of Sport. In this episode he emphasises the personal, social and behavioural benefits sports can bring to students.
What is the purpose of coaching the Director of sport at school and how does it impact the students’ learning experience? Neil covers this all in the latest episode of Golden Nuggets.
Amy Price is a Women’s National Coach Developer at The FA in England, and is a UEFA A Licence holder. She was formerly Programme Director for Physical and Sport Education BA (Hons) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. They discuss what coaches and teachers can learn from studying video game design and how you could apply that to a classroom.
Aaron Walsh is an experienced Sports Performance Coach. He is trained in mental skills and player development. He is currently working for Chiefs super rugby team, and previously for major sports teams such as San Francisco Giants, NY Mets, NZ Hockey, Football and Auckland Aces. He also works in corporate leadership coaching, creating high performance working environments. They spoke about Aarons career, fostering a healthy competitive environment, and the importance of managing wellbeing for optimal performance.
Dr Daniel Fujiwara is the founding director of Simetrica-Jacobs, who research wellbeing research and econometrics. An economist specialising in policy evaluation and social impact measurement, he also has a PHD in Wellbeing, and over 15 years of experience working in government and in international organisations. They discussed how wellbeing can increase productivity in the workplace and in the education system, creating better students, teachers and employees.