Difficult decisions made much easier

Jackie has helped me to focus on the points in my life that I felt needed most attention and gave me the freedom to explore areas that were of most importance. Jackie’s calm presence allowed me to open up, get to the root of certain issues and tackle them face on.

Jackie is easy to talk to, is an excellent listener and above all is non-judgemental.

Without Jackie’s help I don’t think I would have managed to resolve issues at work and would probably have left a job that pays very well,  I am good at and enjoy.   But Jackie’s no-nonsense approach helped me to see clearly and gave me confidence to make the changes needed. I have realised what’s important to me, and I now know that I can achieve and maintain my goals.

This confidence has spilled over into my personal life and I feel empowered in dealing with people, friends and strangers alike.

Coaching was an investment in me.  It has been worth every penny!

Margit Rammer, Wales.

Business start up nerves banished!

As a newly qualified counsellor, I wanted to build my skills and create a service that would be seen as accessible and professional.

Having no prior experience in business (or counselling come to that) I struggled with taking money from clients and putting myself forward.  I needed support to find and target my market, create a professional image and gain knowledge of how to operate in the corporate world.

In the initial consultation Jackie answered my questions patiently, and helped me identify what exactly it was that I wanted to achieve and how I could go about it. In our subsequent sessions we set focus goals and listed action steps I needed to take.  We developed a practical structure for me to work within – enabling me to develop new skills and build my business savvy.

In face-to-face and telephone sessions Jackie challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and encouraged me to expand my view of what I could achieve.

I am so glad I choose Jackie to work with me, my business and my confidence have grown and I continue to use the hints and tips she gave me.

Shirlie Deveney, Merseyside, UK

No longer insecure and demotivated

Sometimes work just gets on top of us – we feel we can’t cope and can’t see our way forward.

As the quote below from freelance journalist Mark Nelson illustrates – talking with a coach can help you get the clarity you need to focus on getting the results you want.

“I approached Jackie for advice. I received not only sharply focused guidance but also some very useful broader insights that I would never have seen unaided.

Jackie is the most inspiring life coach that I know! As a freelance writer temporarily facing a declining number of commissions and consequent lack of motivation and emotional insecurity, I worked with her to get myself back into a space where I was working in a focused and effective way;  my confidence  increased and I was able to achieve the results I wanted.

Mark Nelson, Northampton.

Banksy’s living room complete with matching jumbo makes graffiti artist the darling of LA

Banksy's elephant artwork 

Above: Banksy’s elephant artwork. Below: Controversial artist Banksy. 

Part of the furniture: Decorated to match the wallpaper, the Indian elephant tries to make herself at home at Banksy’s art exhibition in Los Angeles Controversial: Banksy the artist

When you’re 10ft tall and weigh a ton or two, you’re hardly going to blend in with the furniture.

But this Indian elephant manages to make herself at home in this living room thanks to a nifty paint-job by British graffiti artist Banksy.

The installation is the centrepiece of his Barely Legal exhibition, in Los Angeles.

A makeshift living room, complete with sofas and table lamps, has been set up in a downtown warehouse.

Visitors will find themselves face to face with a 37-year-old elephant called Thai trying her best not to bump into the sofa or rattle the teacups.

She is penned in behind a white picket fence under the watchful gaze of two trainers who occasionally feed her carrots and scoop up dung.

The elephant, which is used to performing, is thought to be from a private zoo in Los Angeles. She is covered in edible, non-toxic paint to match the wallpaper.

Banksy, best known in Britain for acerbic graffiti art, is thought to be making a point about poverty and other important issues which he believes are ignored despite their enormous impact on so many lives.

His three-day free show in LA is billed as a ‘vandalised warehouse extravaganza’ and has a theme of global poverty and injustice.

Cameron Diaz, Colin Farrell and Orlando Bloom are all expected to attend its launch party.

Banksy, who made his name through graffiti, can now command £10,000 for some of his canvases.

Thought to be in his early 30s and originally from Bristol, he is both revered and reviled in the art world.

A few critics have been given a sneak preview of his latest show. Sorina Diaconescu, from the LA Times, said: “The medium is the message and in this case just the very fact that there is an elephant in the room, the proverbial elephant in the room, is what he’s trying to say, period.

“I don’t feel particularly incensed at the fact that he painted a live animal. But I think he’s treading a pretty thin line and it’s part of his charm.”

There is nothing cryptic about another of his pieces, which shows giant cockroaches clambering over photos of Paris Hilton with copies of her CD. It features a graffiti message: “Thou Shalt Not Worship False Icons”.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-405197/Banksys-living-room-complete-matching-jumbo-makes-graffiti-artist-darling-LA.html#ixzz16gIR2BKa

Training our Students and our Managers

This event was a huge success and we received our highest ratings of the year from the attendees. This was due to Jackie’s presentation style, detail, and her way of explaining complex ideas in an easy to follow style. In short, she delivered.

I would highly recommend Jackie Thomas to present to groups of any size and make-up. We look forward to again having Jackie train again at future programmes.

‘The team were motivated and inspired with the training provided by Jackie. It has given us an excellent platform to achieve going forward. The environment to learn was comfortable and promoted confidence to participate in the working group.

Jackie has provided us with an excellent service which is tailored to the needs of our organisation. She has succeeded in creating training courses which are specific and relevant to our particular needs. Her training facilitates in a way which allows attendees to interact, while learning skills and knowledge which can be applied to their individual roles.

In addition to training our students, Jackie has also provided excellent 1-to-1 specific and individually tailored training and coaching to staff which was found to be extremely beneficial by both the trainees and our management.

As one manager wrote: “Great information that was very well delivered and the anecdotes and examples helped with understanding. The session has given me practical skills and foundational theory to help me begin to coach others in a better way”

Jane Cooke
Managing Director
Essential Learning UK

Client “Quotes”

“I couldn’t have done it on my own”  Martin Baldwin, IT Consultant, Cheshire

“Raised my self esteem tremendously”  Jane Cook, Trainer, Cheshire

“I was deeply impressed by the quality of professional advice you provided”  Ken Allen, University Facilitator, Cambridge

“You helped me so much.”  Sue Chapman, IT Manager, Wirral

“Her experience of business management, sales & negotiation, combined with her counselling ability, life-skills expertise and communications skills make Jackie a fascinating and inspiring person to work with.”  Phil Turtle, Managing Director, Brighton

Jackie provided me with coaching through a period of considerable stress and challenge at work.  I found her coaching style and competence to be very good and I was able to accomplish my goals effectively and in a much improved state of mind thanks to her.

I considered Jackie to have a very open, friendly and perceptive style, peppered with insightful questions that promoted great learning and awareness for me.  Nigel Clark – Liverpool

Personal Disaster Averted

Jackie Thomas provided me with courage and motivation at a time when I was facing possible redundancy.  Initially she offered her services in a non-threatening but intriguing manner, subtly suggesting that I would benefit from her coaching but not being overtly forceful.

She left the proverbial ball in my court for a while and being concerned about the prospect of losing a source of income, I approached Jackie as I would any open door, in a bid to escape disaster.

Jackie not only listened to my concerns but gained a deep insight to my inner beliefs and values without being patronising or invading privacy.  She outlined concrete steps to take in order to increase my motiviation and build up belief in myself when my self-esteem was low, to say the least. 

The outcome of our meeting was very positive and Jackie assured me that she would be available for further consultation when needed.  In the end the redundacy threat was overcome but I feel that I have gained a lot more strength and belief in myself as a result of Jackies coaching and I am now equiped to deal with any other crises with strength thanks to her.

Christopher Fulton

Life beyond redundancy

Redundancy was on the horizon and, lacking focus and self confidence, I was ill equipped to face job hunting in a bleak economic climate.

Jackie coached me into recognizing what I had to offer; she helped me build a CV that highlighted my talents and achievements, through that process, my self esteem increased immensely, and I was able to attend interviews with confidence.

The benefits of her coaching have extended into my personal life, and I would recommend her to anyone wanting to make progress in their home life or business/career.

Linnetta S Grenfel

Banksy’s painted elephant is illegal, say officials

Tai, an Indian female elephant stands in the middle of a couple's home in a performance art piece by English artist Banksy
Tai, Banksy’s “elephant in the room”. (Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP)
 The British artist Banksy has been criticised by officials in California for the “frivolous abuse” of an elephant which he had painted to look like pink wallpaper.The elephant, Tai, was the main attraction at Banksy’s first US exhibition, which opened last week in Los Angeles, drawing celebrities including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Tai was painted to blend in with a set-up of a living room, and was supposed to symbolise how the problem of world poverty is ignored.

Los Angeles’s Animal Services Department (ASD) had given a permit for the 38-year-old female elephant to appear at the exhibition, titled “Barely Legal”.

However, officials later said that they regretted granting the permit, and yesterday ordered Tai’s owners, Have Trunk Will Travel, to remove the floral spray-paint.

Ed Boks, the head of the ASD, said the order was made after consulting with two animal rights activists and the city attorney’s office.

“The paint they had been using, although non-toxic, according to government regulations was unsafe, and even illegal to use the way they had been using it,” Mr Boks said.

Mr Boks ordered that the elephant be completely scrubbed down to bare skin and that a child-safe face paint be used instead. He said his agency had tried to have the permits revoked entirely on Friday, but to do so may have taken five days, by which time the exhibition would be over.

Speaking in general about the use of the elephant, Mr Boks said: “I think it sends a very wrong message that abusing animals is not only OK, it’s an art form. We find it no longer acceptable to dye baby chicks at Easter, but it’s OK to dye an elephant. Permits will not be issued for such frivolous abuse of animals in the future.”

Tai appeared unpainted in the living room yesterday, the final day of the show. “Well, it’s better than being painted,” said Bill Dyer from In Defence of Animals, an animal rights group that objected to the exhibit. Mr Dyer, who visited the exhibition on Friday afternoon, said that while Tai had not appeared to be distressed, her use was unnecessary and gimmicky.

The elephant’s handlers have defended using Tai in the show, arguing that she has been well looked after. They said that she was regularly fed and given water, taken on bathroom breaks and driven from the warehouse each night back to her home on a ranch.

“Tai has done many, many movies. She’s used to makeup,” said Kari Johnson, co-owner of Have Trunk, Will Travel.

On opening night, cards were handed out which read: “There’s an elephant in the room. There’s a problem we never talk about.” The statement went on to say there were billions of people living below the poverty line.

Banksy, a Bristol-born street graffiti artist who keeps his real name secret, regularly courts controversy. Most recently, to promote his show, he left an inflatable dummy depicting a Guantánamo Bay detainee in Disneyland.

The elephant in the room – Meaning and Origin


An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn’t discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.


The expression is of US origin, although the precise source isn’t known. The meaning, if not the exact wording, dates from at least the 1950s and is possibly some years older than that. The first reference to the phrase that I have found is in The Charleston Gazette, July 1952:

“Chicago, that’s an old Indian word meaning get that elephant out of your room.”

It isn’t clear quite what the author of that intended, but we can be sure he was being ironic. Chicago is a word coined by the people that now prefer to call themselves Native Americans. Their original meaning for the word isn’t known, but we can be sure it wasn’t anything to do with elephants.

The first known citation that uses the phrase with the clear intention of conveying our current understanding of the phrase is the title of Typpo and Hastings’ book An elephant in the living room: a leader’s guide for helping children of alcoholics, 1984.

The number of times that a variety of authors have called on the expression in recent years, whenever a topic that they thought was important and deserved more attention, has caused it to become clichéd. One commonly discussed such topic in the 1980s was used to be called ‘the Northern Ireland question’ or, more colloquially, the Troubles. The film director Alan Clarke made a documentary called Elephant in 1989. The film’s screenplay was written by Bernard MacLaverty, who is reported as previously describing the Troubles as “the elephant in our living room”.

More recently, in September 2006, the British artist Banksy set the phrase in visual form with an exhibit of a painted elephant in a room in the Barely Legal exhibition in Los Angeles. The theme of the exhibition was global poverty. By painting the elephant in the same bold pattern as the room’s wallpaper, Banksy emphasized the phrase’s meaning, by both making the elephant even more obvious and by giving those who chose to ignore it (like the woman in the tableau) an opportunity to pretend that it had blended into the wallpaper background.

From: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/elephant-in-the-room.html