Gabi is a lovely woman, and it was great to hear about her values and experiences in life.

Let’s start with your job role:

 I have a main job role I am a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. I mainly deliver teaching for paramedic student. I am from a nurse background myself, but I also deliver sessions for nurses as well, mainly post graduate nurses. That’s with the advanced modules that I teach on, so I teach a program once a year in Hon Kong about coaching and mentoring as part of a management and master’s program. I would say that’s my main job role but overtime I learned that I like variety. Not that quite long time ago I remember an ex-boss of mine once said to me that there’s a problem and of course I thought what I have done and he said you haven’t done anything, but you are bored, your outgrown of your job. Well, that was the problem I didn’t move on, but I think I should have kept moving on, I just kind of settled. So, from that movement I started too diverse. I did a lot of things along with what I did at that point. Even now for example I am freelance instructor for the research council, so I do courses on that over the weekend to flex my time, I am a town councillor in Abingdon, I am also deputy mayor linked to that role for this year. I enjoy making the difference to the society. I do some freelance coaching. I also work with Abingdon bridge; I offer some coaching to young people to build up their confidence and to support finding their next steps in life or career.

What is coaching according to you?

Mentoring/coaching is kind of empower people. I do not give them solutions; in fact, I open different doors for them to see and what they want to do. It is like showing them how they can do it, what are the barriers and how they progress on it. It is usually the mind-set that creates barriers. I am also writing a book on coaching, it is something that anyone can pick up and go; what is coaching all about, how can I use it in everyday life; so, I am putting a guide on coaching that everyone can use.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

Probably two things; one is satisfaction, seeing someone really developed, getting a sense of who they are, making the difference in loving who they are; second is being involved in something that is important to me and others which is a sense of belonging, I have a worth and value, it really speaks of my values.

Any ongoing projects/concerns as a town councillor?

I am liking being a councillor as if you want to know more about your town become a councillor. This is my 4th year, and I am looking to complete that. I have taken on projects like green projects and biodiversity projects. It is all about putting a community together to work on making a change. We are really trying to have more green spaces for people to use that we want people to develop as much as possible. Then, investing in young people to make sure that they are heard as they are our future. I have been very fortunate to have found my life now and I want that for others. I have been to youth meetings and got to know their concerns about streetlights in dark evenings as it really gives sense of safety. So, we are currently working on it. Another thing that we put in place for young people is, ‘Ask for Angela’ which is already a strategy out there for people who are feeling vulnerable so now they can get into any café and say the word ‘Angela’ and then they will be provided with any help needed.

Do you get stressed at times and how do you cope with it?

We all do get stressed. I think I overdo it sometimes, and we are all guilty of it. Fortunately, I have flexible job, so I get a time to keep a balance. Sometimes, I am at community, and sometimes, at office and I really like that as it refreshes my mind. Community work is therapeutic to me as I get to meet new people and see them as enthusiastic to work for their communities.

What keeps you motivated?

I think my friends help me a lot to keep going, they have similar energy and interests, so that really helps me. Another thing is that reconnecting to my purpose, making a difference, align people to be empowered to who they are and have a saying in their life, so I connect to that purpose and visualising that keeps me motivated. I often say that in coaching that switch mind-set and take an action. Accepting bad days in your as there are many ups and downs.

Would you want to change anything, or did you have any regrets?

There’s one thing that isn’t really a regret but just a thought that if I knew my strengths and weaknesses when I was younger then things really would have been different. For example, when I was in school, there was no coaching at that time, and it is also sort of reason of giving back to young people so they can know what they would want to do.

If you must give me a quotation about your life, what would it be?

“Making a difference, no matter where you are, and with who you are”

“The only constant thing in life is change.”