I’m Liz: a writer, a director, a producer and a coach. I am curious and inquisitive, and I love to learn so throughout my life I have continually diversified my skills seeking new ways to develop and grow. I have particular interest in the way that an open, creative approach can be beneficial in a plethora of different contexts. From imaginative adventures with the youngest children to artistic discovery with older people living with dementia at the end of life – I have a wide range of experience developing and delivering projects in theatres and creative spaces, but also in hospitals, schools, gardens, blocks of flats… Anywhere that the spark of imagination is given space to ignite endless possibilities. I have worked with large groups, with individuals and with everything inbetween, and am passionate about supporting people to identify and fulfill their goals.
I love stories so it will come as no surprise that I began my working life as a theatre director. From the primary school nativity through numerous school plays, followed by many happy years in youth theatre, I went on to undertake professional training at Contact Theatre through their Young Directors’ programme, and at Middlesex University, RESAD Madrid, and GITIS Moscow. From this starting point I began a creative journey which has now lasted for more than twenty years.
Now my professional life is a mixture of creating and coaching. Having experienced the benefits of coaching on a personal level I realised that most of my professional life I had taken a coaching approach as a producer and manager, and also in my creative practice as an artist and director. It was the benefit of this experience, and the associated revelation about my own work, that inspired me to train as a coach. I trained with Deb Barnard in 2017 with the aspiration to continue exploring this wide and creative approach within all of my work whilst also developing my own practice within the specific area of Coaching and Life Design. For me it has become clear that, like many other areas of my work, coaching is all about stories. About the stories we tell, the ones we would like to tell, and the ones that we haven’t even imagined yet.
I am a fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the RSA, a member of the British Permaculture Association, and an accredited Relational Dynamics Coach.
My work bridges and unites a range of different disciplines:
- I design, curate and manage creative public engagement events, activities and projects. Recent work includes a community woodland event for Love Springwater Park, a celebration event in a supported housing scheme in Manchester as part of the launch of Manchester International Festival in 2017, and a six month creative residency in Hull working to put people living with dementia at the heart of UK City of Culture 2017.
- I run The Storybox Project – a ground breaking creative project which uses stories and imagination as a starting point to engage, enliven and empower people living with a dementia.
- I write publications and develop training – primarily focusing upon Ageing and Creativity. I have also been in a number of different international research programmes on the same theme. This has included work with / for Keele University, Making Space, National Football Museum, Manchester City of Trees and the Hereford Courtyard. I am currently editing a Treasury For Participatory Arts and Older People for The Baring Foundation.
- I direct and create performances. I have created work for a huge range of organisations including: Manchester City Council, Contact, Manchester International Festival, London College of Fashion / University of The Arts, The Royal Academy, LeftCoast, ALRA and The Library Theatre Company.
- I am an accredited coach and a member of the Association for Coaching. As a coach I love supporting individuals and organisations to identify what is really important to them, and how to make it happen.