“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”



Katie Gumbrell MA PGCE BSc


I love working with people, helping them to develop their talents by challenging them to try something different and supporting them when their goals feel out of reach. I’m not a counsellor or a therapist, just an interventionist: I believe that everyone can change and anyone can feel better.

Most of my working time, I’m a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at a lovely primary school in Reading, Berkshire, UK. Children are amazing and we should encourage them all. I have a nerdy love of all things education and have no qualms about saying that we do not value our state education system enough in the UK. I know and have worked with some tireless and exceptional teachers (both qualified and not) who have changed lives for the better; this should be celebrated and rewarded.

My particular specialism, and the subject of my MA, is the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education in primary schools. I believe that children have a right to be told the truth, in an age-appropriate way, so that they are equipped to have healthy relationships throughout their lives.

When I'm not working at school, I’m a personal trainer and specialist Coach in Running Fitness. I have started and grown the Tilehurst Runs Together community, coaching group sessions and individuals with a huge range of goals and experiences. This particular strand of work has come as quite a shock, as I still consider myself a reformed couch potato!

I remember only too well my first run: "Just to the park and back." It started brilliantly, with an excellent run to the park (about a quarter of a mile), which was closely followed by feeling sick and ended with a walk home...

Now, as an experienced runner (25+ half marathons, including one pushing my sister in her wheelchair) and qualified coach, I love helping people to start their running journeys better than I did, by helping them to understand how the body works, building up gently and running well.

When I’m not working or running around my local paths and trails, I’m a terrible gardener, enthusiastic baker and lover of pubs.


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