Coach4care helps carers improve their resilience and wellbeing through coaching so that they can give kind and loving care. It also supports experienced carers to become coaches so that they can turn their previous experience into meaningful support for others.
Coach4care is a service co-designed by carers, for carers. All materials are open sourced and the service can be set up by any organisation in partnership with a coaching organisation. Our materials provide a new model of coaching and include other supporting tools that support carers through their journey. Elements of this service include:
- Care and support for people who are dying and their main carer through the role of a coach. Coaching could either take place in the home, or in a local community base, a hospice, coffee shop or, if the carer or supporter was housebound, by Skype or over the phone.
- Coaches are trained to use a coaching syllabus that highlights tools that coaches can use to reflect on their situation and develop solutions, encourage them to engage in positive activities, manage negative emotions and think about how they can utilise their social network to gain further social and practical support.
- Learning lunches and support sessions: for professional coaches for group supervision; for ex-carer coaches to provide supervision and learn from each other; and for carers as an additional support to meet others going through the same experiences and have a little fun.
- Access to a helpline that carers can ring in times of anxiety or for practical advice.
- Supervision sessions where professional coaches give supervision to ex-caregiver coaches.
- Facilitated sessions with family and friends to increase support for the primary caregiver.
- Additional tools that carers can use to get the best out of the professionals they are working with.
Coach4care is based on the following principles:
1. The caregivers have the answers
The caregivers are the experts in their own experience. The answers and capabilities are within them. They have the knowledge of their situations and the situation of the loved one they are caring for. The coach's role is not to give solutions but to help the caregivers unlock their capabilities and discover and develop the answers within themselves.
2. Peer support can provide deep understanding
Ex-caregiver’s also hold expertise and understanding, having been through the experience. They ask questions from a place of empathy and understanding, and without judging.
3. Improving well-being increases capacity to give love to others
When we are helped to build resilience and well-being, and to more effectively manage challenging emotions, we have more warmth, love and energy to give to ourselves and others.
4. We believe in human potential for greatness
We know that if you encourage someone they can believe in themselves. Caring for someone can be rewarding but also hard and this can affect the quality of thought. We know what when people receive an opportunity to reflect with attentive listening, it is possible to develop better solutions if given the right support.
5. When we help others we help ourselves
Learning to help others overcome challenges, helps people to develop. We supports ex-caregivers to find meaning and growth in helping caregivers to thrive.
6. Research evidence improves practice
We use research evidence to build our practice. We don’t ignore what is out there. We believe in using what works, but we are not precious about it. We believe that with the right support this approach can be used to improve people's lives.
7. We include people from all walks of life
We create a culture where everyone feels that they belong. Equality and inclusion are fundamental to our approach. We are adaptable and receptive to our community needs and value and respect feedback.
8. It is ok to feel negative
We provide a safe space to talk about negative feelings. We recognise that these feelings are normal and human. Coaching can give a perspective to help us understand difficult emotions.