Submitted by Ailbhe Harrington, MCC, Connect A Coach
Connect A Coach (CAC) provided four 45-minute pro bono coaching sessions to frontline workers in Ireland (e.g. doctors, nurses, care assistants, pharmacists, police, first responders, etc.). The Connect A Coach initiative was set up in response to a call in Ireland to support front-line staff. Karen Hayes, ACC, and Ailbhe Harrington reached out to the coaching community of Ireland for coaches and supervisors to become involved.
Karen and Ailbhe connected with people they knew in the health system to guide them with the offering and to provide training in psychological first aid for all the coaches and supervisors. They created a website which made it a two-step process for a front-line worker to access sessions, booking directly using the scheduling platform Calendly. It was confidential, no forms to fill out, and they could review the coaches’ LinkedIn profiles. Each coach had access to group supervision in groups of 4-5 coaches with the supervisors offering their time pro bono. CAC was offered from March 19 – June 21. During this first session, CAC saw 160 clients and offered 363 pro bono coaching sessions.
More than 50 coaches volunteered from different coaching schools and members of ICF, EMCC and AOC. Twelve coach supervisors supported the coaches in small supervision groups and a supervisor supporting the supervisors. Coaches rotated every eight weeks so they had a break, as some of the clients were traumatized. Training was provided for psychological First Aid for all through a coach working in the health system. Additionally, training in GDPR and many other resources were provided for the coaches.
Five coaches supported the initiative with administration, PR and marketing. Ten radio interviews were held to help the public understand coaching and the offering. They also connected with many organizations with front-line staff so they were aware of the offering. They also engaged others to create the branding, website, legal advice and accounting advice regarding the establishment of a limited company.