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BILD - All About People
Monday 09 December 2019
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100 Coaches Programmes: Liam Sutcliffe Case Study

As a part of our 100 Coaches Programmes celebration, we spoke to some of the people who attended the very first coaches programme in December 2014.

Liam Sutcliffe is Assistant Manager at Kirklees Council's Young People’s Activity Team (YPAT). He spoke to us about how the CAPBS Coaches Programme has changed the way he works and how it has helped to make a difference to people's lives. 

How did you feel about the Coaches Programme when you were on it?

“It was an intense few days! My knowledge of PBS was quite limited when I attended so not only was I trying to take in the content of the training but also to learn from the experiences of the other participants. 

For me, the concept of PBS fit with how we needed to support the young people at YPAT and it felt that I had finally found a framework to make a difference to the way we work.”

Did the Coaches Programme meet your expectations?

“It far exceeded my expectations, I went on the training hoping to learn something new to share with our staff but instead found a concept which has completely changed how I perform my role.”

What do you feel were the most important elements you brought from the course? 

“One of the most important elements was having participants from different organisations to share experiences with. 

The residential aspect of the training also helped to facilitate further discussion outside of the classroom.”

What are you most proud of achieving since the Programme?

“That it’s not been another initiative that has been introduced to change working practice which fizzled out with staff reverting back to their old ways of working. Three years on from the programme staff, at all levels within the team, are still actively working to develop PBS within their own practice and looking to apply the principles of best practice in PBS to support the young people who access the YAPT short break service.”

What’s your favourite success story?

“Creating a PBS plan for a young man which resulted in a significant reduction in instances of challenging behaviour. Staff are confident in the plan and have feedback that it works. The boy’s parents have told us that our service is one of the few places that accepts their son for who he is.”

What has helped you achieve your PBS goal and action plan?

“My manager’s support. She has given me the time and resources to develop the action plan and attend some of the national and regional CAPBS Coaches’ Network meetings. These have provided useful information and advice to help keep me on track and prevent feeling isolated.”

What has hindered the above? 

“As with most new initiatives, time has been the limiting factor. Development and implementation of the PBS plan has had to have been done on top of my regular duties in the short break service. Thankfully the staff team at YPAT have taken ownership of parts of the plan to help it progress and get to the position we are in today. The team have done a great job and PBS is working really well.”

How optimistic do you feel about the implementation of PBS in your organisation? 

“We’ve learnt a lot over the last few years and are starting to work closer with other services and partner agencies to provide consistent support to young people in the borough. The onus is now on us to build on the work we’ve done and share this across the organisation.”

How can BILD support people like you to implement PBS? 

“Sarah Leitch, BILD's PBS Development Manager, has always given her time freely to answer any questions or issues I may have had around PBS which has been invaluable. This, and the culture of sharing resources and good practice among coaches, is something to be continually encouraged as it is of huge benefit, especially if you are a single practitioner in your organisation.  

I think the proposed Yammer group will be really helpful and it would be good to develop smaller, regional, sub groups like a West Yorkshire group, to build local connections and possibly arrange visits to other services to see how they do things. I’ve attended a couple of the North regional meetings and they cover a large geographical area, it may be easier to attend them if they are accessible via Skype or video conferencing.

The CAPBS 2016 webinar series was excellent, but quite academic, which can be overawing when just getting started with PBS and implementing an action plan. It would be useful to have something with more accessible, practical steps that can be taken at the beginning of a CAPBS Coaches’ journey. 

Finally, a BILD campaign to increase the focus on PBS for children and young people, which would help to embed PBS practice in the services children and young people access.”

How has your thinking and understanding developed in the last three years? 

“There has been significant increase in my thinking and understanding, this is an ongoing process as just when I think I am getting on top of things I find something new. This is 100% down to the Coaches Programme.”

Have you participated in any of the CAPBS Coaches Network meetings?

“Yes, I have been to one national and two regional meetings. I have found them to be a useful platform to share my ideas and get feedback to see if I am on the right track in YPAT’s PBS implementation.”

5 December, 2017


“I hoped to learn something new, instead I found a concept that’s changed how I perform my role.”