Soar was founded by Claire Burgess and is based in Oundle, Northamptonshire. Claire has an MSc in Occupational Psychology and an ILM Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring, and is passionate about people development. She is an advocate of Positive Psychology and the effect that having a positive approach to situations can have on your life, encouraging others (and herself!) to grab opportunities that come along and look for the best in all situations. It was in such an ‘opportunity-grabbing’ moment that Claire decided to trial ‘Dream It, Do It’, a personal development course aimed at women, with a small group of women who wanted to grow in confidence and have the time and space to focus on themselves. It was a hit and had such overwhelmingly positive feedback that she now runs the course regularly, in-house for both the private and public sector.
After becoming a mum herself, realising the struggle that all mums face in getting the holy grail of perfect work-life balance, and finding that coaching helped address this (or at least address the need to get it right), Claire moved her focus to working with women, and other mums. Dream It, Do It is part of this offer, and in 2015 Claire launched a ‘Bird Table’ group in East Northants, a business development group for women business owners who want the time, structure and focus to develop their business in a meaningful way. This was so successful that she now runs 2 Bird Table groups, in East Northants and in Cambridgeshire, and she is also involved in the growth of the Bird Table groups nationally. She also offers 1-2-1 coaching to help support women overcome the barriers they have to being where they want to be, professionally or personally.
The pursuit of helping women to achieve their potential took another turn in 2015, with the opportunity to work as part of a Government initiative in schools to focus on addressing the imbalance of women in teaching in senior roles compared to the percentage of women in the profession overall. Claire set up and ran a programme on ‘Aspiring Women into Leadership‘, approved by the ILM, with amazingly positive feedback and a large percentage of attendees moving into more senior roles. She has now run the course for a number of school clusters and Academy Trusts with 100% satisfaction.
Claire currently works with a team of associates to provide a range of development opportunities for a number of organisations, including private consultancies, social care and Higher Education, as well as working with individuals on their own development.