University and county collaborate to train vital health and wellbeing coaches

University and county collaborate to train vital health and wellbeing coaches

A group of trailblazing health and wellbeing coaches have been equipped with vital skills thanks to a collaboration between Cumbria County Council and the University of Cumbria.

The university designed a bespoke programme for Cumbria County Council to meet the learning needs of a new team of Health and Wellbeing Coaches (HAWCs) who work with some of Cumbria’s most vulnerable communities. Drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including social and probation work, students joined the course on one of 2 pathways - Level 6 Advanced Diploma Practice Development Health and Wellbeing Coaching or a Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate Practice Development Health and Wellbeing Coaching. 

Three modules covering lifestyle and behaviour, applying coaching and motivational interviewing and mental health awareness and understanding taught over 12 months.

The course was designed for distance learning combining face-to-face teaching as well as on-line and directed learning activities. Because of Cumbria’s geography two cohorts were taught to meet the needs of the north and west as well as east and south health and wellbeing coaching teams.

“We’re extremely proud of our Health and Wellbeing Coaches who are receiving professional qualifications in Health Coaching today,” Colin Cox, the director of public health for Cumbria, said. ”Today’s ceremony recognises the hard work that our Health and Wellbeing Coaches have put into studying over the past year. This was in addition to learning a new demanding role supporting vulnerable people across Cumbria. The team has supported over 1000 people during this time, and the coaching knowledge and skills they have learnt through the University of Cumbria course are helping individuals to achieve positive health and wellbeing outcomes. I’d like to wish the whole team huge congratulations and all the best in their ongoing roles providing this vital service to people in Cumbria.”

All students successfully passed the modules with feedback from Cumbria County Council managers indicating that HAWCs had already implemented the theory and techniques into their practice. 

Paying tribute to the twenty-seven strong trailblazing group, University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell spoke of her pride that the course had come together and her hope at the impact the newly qualified coaches would have.