Clients' experiences of working with Katherine:
Katherine makes an immediate impact - people warm to her and feel confident contributing to her meetings, to excellent mutual benefit. Katherine is able to immediately strike a rapport with people, which she develops to a position where she can lead individuals and groups towards common goals without imposing her own views or opinions.
Lester Firkins OBE, former Chair, James Lind Alliance
I have watched Katherine facilitating discussions involving mixed groups of patients and clinicians, with diverse interests and complex and sometimes conflicting concerns. She offers the calm and focussed style and the warm and inclusive approach which are needed to achieve consensus about shared priorities in these circumstances. Her work for the James Lind Alliance has always been delivered to a very high standard, and her contributions to the development of this unique initiative have been invaluable.
Sir Iain Chalmers, Coordinator, James Lind Initiative
Katherine was the chair of the Steering and Data Assessment Groups for the Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership (PeolcPSP) from September 2013 to March 2015. We were immensely pleased to have her involved in the project. Her knowledge of the methodology, calmness in the face of difficulties and excellent chairmanship of a group from a very mixed background have contributed to not a small degree to the success of the overall project. Katherine is a pleasure to work with, warm and considerate, but professional, which was particularly important because of the subject matter. We have been very fortunate to have her involved with the project and I can wholeheartedly recommend her work to others considering setting up a Priority Setting Partnership or using her facilitation skills in general.
Dr Sabine Best, Head of Research, Marie Curie
The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership was an ambitious project. Katherine chaired the Steering Committee that oversaw the design and delivery of this large and complex project and facilitated the final workshops necessary to deliver a set of priorities. We were very impressed by Katherine’s professionalism. She commanded respect from people involved and this enabled her to build consensus amongst people with a wide range of views. She demonstrated real empathy with those involved and ensured that all voices were heard. Throughout the project she remained enthusiastic, calm and unflappable and we all really enjoyed working with her. This priority setting exercise is vital for the eye research sector and we have benefited hugely from Katherine’s involvement.
Michele Acton, Chief Executive, Fight for Sight
As a coach, Katherine has a natural affinity with people and is able to put them at their ease very quickly. She is insightful and enabled me to be clearer about what I want to do, helping me explore options and decide for myself what would be best for me. Her coaching was an opportunity to stop and examine how I can achieve balance between work and home, while meeting work objectives, as well as a chance to reflect on my future aspirations, how these might look and the impact they may have.
Head of HR, Public Authority
Thomas, Lettercutter & Stonemason, www.thosworks.com
Katherine coached me for about a year. Working as a barrister I had found it difficult to reconcile the balance between my professional and my personal life. Through coaching, my life balance has changed in an incredibly positive way. With Katherine’s assistance I was able to implement a strategy to achieve an altogether happier and more positively structured way of living. Katherine’s method is entirely unassuming and the progress I was able to make never felt taught or pressured, but became a logical progression along a journey. I would recommend this to anyone truly interested in achieving a better understanding of and ability to improve and balance their ‘life’. For me, it has literally been life changing.
Rory Keene, Barrister
Katherine delivered a seminar on involving patients and clinicians in setting priorities for research at our annual departmental conference in. This was pitched at exactly the right level for an audience comprising a mix of clinicians and researchers from a range of disciplines, and delivered informally but with authority. Feedback has been excellent, and I am sure that the seminar will lead to more attention being given to how our research can be aligned to the needs of clinicians and patients.
Andrew Wilson, Head of Department and Professor of Primary Care Research Department of Health, Sciences University of Leicester
Citizens Advice commissioned Katherine to develop and deliver equality and human rights campaigns training to over 150 CAB staff. Katherine delivered the project to the highest of standards. The response from both management and training participants speaks volumes about the excellence and professionalism Katherine has shown in delivering this work. 94% of training delegates said her delivery was excellent and 96% were more likely to campaign on issues relating to equality and human rights as a result of the training. It’s been a huge pleasure working with Katherine and we will undoubtedly commission her to work for us again!
David Martin, Head of Social Policy Campaigns, Citizens Advice
When developing its Sexual Orientation Equality Scheme, Transport for London sought the involvement of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people from the start of the process. In order to achieve this aim TfL worked with Katherine Cowan to reach as wide a group of people as possible from across London's diverse LGB communities. Katherine's knowledge of the communities, professional approach and excellent facilitation skills ensured that TfL's engagement with LGB people was not only effective, but ground breaking. The result has been a scheme which has been described as best practice by stakeholders and influential members of the community such as Peter Tatchell. TfL has been so impressed with Katherine's work that she has been engaged to take TfL to the next level in terms of how it reaches out to customers from across London's communities.
Stephen Golden, Head of Policy and Strategy, Transport for London
I had attended one of Katherine’s Citizens Advice training sessions and was so impressed by that experience that I had no hesitation in commissioning her to work with our Bureau. Katherine prepared and delivered equality and human rights awareness training to representatives from community groups in our Borough. It was excellent. Katherine conveyed complicated information in a readily accessible manner and one which left delegates inspired and confident to use equality and human rights legislation and provisions for the benefit of their client groups. In preparing the session, I really appreciated Katherine’s clarity and efficiency and ease of communication. She demonstrated a great ability to quickly assimilate our requirements and translate these into what we needed – her first draft was virtually the finished product. She also made some invaluable suggestions. We will certainly be commissioning Katherine again.
Anni Broadhead, Chief Executive, Hammersmith & Fulham Citizens Advice Bureau
We commissioned Katherine to undertake research to find out what our lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) residents and staff think about the Council as a service provider and as an employer. From the outset, Katherine was extremely well organised and quickly established a robust and well thought out structure for the research, which helped us to focus on what the key issues might be. We had positive feedback from those who took part in the research, who found Katherine to be a good listener, and very knowledgeable about the issues affecting LGB people. I'm sure that the trust and rapport Katherine built up with staff and residents during interviews helped her gain a deeper insight. Katherine's research skills are complemented by her excellent writing skills. We now have a very clearly written, well laid out report, that we will use to form the basis of our Sexual Orientation Equality Scheme. We have enjoyed working with Katherine, hope to do so again in the future and can't recommend her highly enough!
Louise Murphy, Corporate Equalities Officer, Bath & North East Somerset Council
YouthNet commissioned Katherine to evaluate the impact of involving young people in the design and delivery of our Respect campaign, which aims to tackle negative representation of young people in the media and in politics. Katherine’s work with the Respect Young People’s Advisory Group was well received by the group and resulted in some insightful testimonies for YouthNet’s report. The group felt comfortable talking to her about the campaign and appreciated Katherine’s patient approach. The report will be distributed to Government and other organisations as an example of best practice for the participation of young people.
Sarah Wilson, Media and PR Manager, YouthNet
HMP Send invited Katherine to deliver a talk to female offenders on lesbian, bisexual and transgender women’s rights as employees, consumers, partners and mothers. The women here at Send thoroughly enjoyed Katherine’s presentation and were very keen to ask questions. She was very friendly, knowledgeable and informative, and showed a real interest in the women's issues, which they appreciated. It was a real pleasure working with Katherine.
Tom Bollingmore, GALIPS Rep, HMP Send
As part of our 20th Anniversary plans, Katherine carried out a piece of research which examined WOMANKIND’s history, our activities, policy development, fundraising and the beneficiaries with whom we have worked with over the past 20 years. The work was based on analysis of our current and historical documents which Katherine traced from a range of sources. In order to complete the research she consulted a number of staff, all of whom enjoyed working with her, commenting that she was extremely friendly and polite. Katherine was very pro-active and meticulous in her approach to this research and produced a document that we are extremely happy with. It was a pleasure to work with someone as professional and personable as Katherine.
Helen Whittaker, Head of Fundraising and Communications, WOMANKIND Worldwide
Katherine’s work with the Albert Kennedy Trust as a researcher and adviser was impeccable. She understood what we were hoping to achieve and translated this into a coherent and comprehensive research project. She also demonstrated a real understanding of best practice in working with young people both as participants and researchers, which was empathic and empowering. Katherine showed an ability to adapt her style for working with both fellow researchers and lay people. Her values, ethics, motivation and understanding showed she is a ‘real world’ researcher with a commitment to ensuring the views of LGBT people are portrayed clearly and without prejudice or subjectivity. Katherine is very client focused in her work and was willing at all points to listen to our concerns and views, as well as being able to offer clear and objective advice. The final report she produced has proved incredibly useful as a tool for: campaigning and lobbying; providing a case for support to funders; proving our own credibility in the field of homelessness and housing; and informing the ongoing development of our work. Without hesitation I would recommend Katherine as a researcher, consultant and trainer.
Tim Sigsworth, Chief Executive, The Albert Kennedy Trust
Katherine’s role in the Westminster mapping project was completely integral to its success. When Galop first considered tendering to deliver research for Westminster City Council on the needs and experiences of LGBT people in the borough, we knew that we would need to work with a professional consultant to help us deliver the project. From the very beginning, I have been impressed by Katherine’s knowledge and professionalism. Katherine undertook her own tasks in the project faultlessly, including helping to plan the project, identifying and interviewing stakeholders and members of the public individually and in focus groups, and identifying and writing up findings. Even more importantly for us however, Katherine's positive and flexible outlook meant that she was able to provide us (a small charity) with important support and advice during difficult phases in the project, responding to its changing needs. I would have no hesitation in recommending Katherine as a consultant.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, Galop
As part of the team which carried out St Mungo’s Equality Audit, Katherine reviewed our policies and procedures, interviewed management and visited a number of our homelessness projects. She also facilitated a series of focus groups with staff. She created an environment in which staff felt safe expressing their views and experiences, and generated very enjoyable discussions which were immensely helpful in informing our equality and diversity work at every level of St Mungo’s. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Katherine and found her approach to be professional, meticulous and friendly.
Amanda Egan, Equality and Diversity Advisor, St Mungo's
Age Concern Tower Hamlets and Age Concern Redbridge found Katherine excellent to work with: highly professional and efficient, very competent and informed, coupled with a warm and friendly manner. Katherine’s skills were key in ensuring the successful publicising and organising of two successful events for LGBT older people to launch a 50+ LGBT Social Network in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Redbridge. Katherine’s communication skills were brilliant both in keeping us updated on progress, and in her sensitive clarifying of service users’ ideas when she facilitated groups at both events. This was a small piece of work, with a limited budget, but which required a range of tasks to be achieved within a short timescale, which Katherine achieved with alacrity and enthusiasm. Katherine’s input and skills have enabled two Age Concern organisations to begin to address the isolation and lack of social provision for LGBT older people in east London.
Christine Sheppard, Age Concern Tower Hamlets
Working with Katherine was an absolute pleasure, and I would be delighted to work with her again. She took on a research project that was not completely clear at the start - my lack of clarity, not hers! - and produced a plan for carrying it out that completely met my needs. All the way through the project I felt very well informed about how Katherine was getting on. The project also involved Katherine contacting external stakeholders on my behalf and on behalf of the Audit Commission. I was very confident in Katherine's ability to do this, and she established good rapport with the people she contacted, obtaining their willing cooperation. I was very pleased with the draft and final reports, which were delivered on time and which exceeded my initial expectations. Katherine had clearly understood the purpose of this piece of work, and her report was exactly what was needed. Katherine was great to work with - easy and friendly to talk to, quick on the uptake, absolutely reliable, and enthusiastic about the project. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.
Stuart Reid, Senior Manager, Audit Commission
Katherine has played an instrumental role helping the Royal Navy develop diversity and equality policies and practices befitting of an organisation with considerable responsibilities for its people. From the outset we were impressed by the extent of her expertise and the confidence she employed when identifying areas in which we could be better. She worked in close partnership with leadership and employee networks with tact, sensitivity and commitment to establish a plan which the stakeholders were pleased to endorse. Her personal contribution has helped the Royal Navy make changes which have brought about improved conditions of service and have made a real difference to our organisation.
Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones MBE, Royal Navy