“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 the time, I’m a primary school teacher at a lovely 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.

When I'm not working at school, I’m a 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.

My final working strand is as a PSHE specialist with Jigsaw PSHE and others, supporting schools to provide high-quality personal, social, health and economic education. I launched three Connecting Classrooms projects with the British Council, involving schools in the UK, Nepal, Egypt and Lebanon. 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 or running around my local paths and trails, I’m a terrible gardener, enthusiastic baker and lover of pubs.


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