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The Team

Sarah Smith

At Indigo Sarah brings together a team of people with a passion for helping people unlock the very best in leadership and management. An experienced leadership development facilitator and professional coach with over 30 years’ experience, Sarah knows that space to think is often in low supply in busy organisational life. The events Sarah runs are focussed, tailored and deliver results.

Indigo works across the private sector and the public.  Sarah’s clients have included Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland, The Woolwich, Royal and Sun Alliance, Standard Life, BMS Group, Liquidnet, Diageo, Mercury Music, ITV, ICP Media, Cohn and Wolfe PR, ICP Media, Pret, Regester Larkin by Deloitte’s, Batchelors Solicitors, Hastoe Homes, Colne Housing Association, Network Housing, Croydon and Bromley Women’s Aid,  London Borough of Bexley, Berkshire NHS Trust, Fairbridge Scotland, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Swindon Borough Council and the Rugby Football Union.  Sarah has coached and developed senior civil servants at Communities and Local Government, UK Skills Commission, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,  Department for Transport, Department for Education, the Home Office, and Offgem.  She has also worked with the Whitehall Minorities and Ethnic Talent Association (META).  In an association with  Fiona Reed Assoc. she has coached senior clinicians and managers across the NHS including Great Ormond Street and Alder Hey children’s hospitals and in partnership with CDA Perform she has worked with the Executive Team at Northumbria University.

Sarah is currently running Network’ Homes’ the highly acclaimed ROCKSTAR leadership programme as well as management programmes for the CIH.  With them she has developed in-house programmes for Southampton City Council, Phoenix Community Housing, Wellingborough Homes, Grand Union Housing Group, and Forest YMCA as well as training leadership mentors in a joint initiative with Housing Diversity Network.   She has twice been voted CIH  Trainer of Year.  She supports the work of The Girls Network, training mentors to work with disadvantages young women in schools.

Sarah is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).  She has trained in co-counselling and Transactional Analysis.  She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), an accredited NLP coach and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More importantly though, her experience and understanding of working in organisations means that she brings a pragmatic and down to earth approach to her work.


Chris Billinge

Chris is an expert coach and facilitator who specialises in working with successful leaders who want to make their work fulfilling and generate exceptional results with their teams.

Coaching assignment have included senior leaders at Marie Curie, various NHS England – Hospital Trusts, Alder Hay and Great Ormond St Children’s Hospitals, Mental Health Trusts within NHS Scotland, Ford of Britain, Shepherds Friendly Society, Foster Wheeler, John Lewis Waitrose, Impact Housing Association and the UK Government Early Talent Programme. As part of the Indigo team, Chris has worked with senior leaders at Network Homes, Liquidnet, and Shelter.

 Chris draws on over 25 years’ leadership experience with FTSE 100 financial services companies. He led and trained the team that delivered the award-winning Woolwich Openplan banking service. He recently completed 2 successful terms as Deputy Chair on the board of Lake District National Park Authority; has been a Trustee of Cumbria Youth Alliance and Director of Cumbria Tourism.   Chris is currently serving on the board of the UK International Coach Federation as Finance Director and is volunteer expedition assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Chris holds the International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach qualification (PCC) and coached over 150 leaders since qualifying. He has achieved Certified NLP European Coach status and is an accredited Myers Briggs practitioner. Chris is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Insurers.


Mary Cross

Clients have described her as ENGAGING, OPTIMISTIC, MOTIVATING…Mary’s vibrant approach to development draws individuals and teams into deep engagement. The experience is invariably enjoyable and, vitally, stretches people to their fullest potential. A gifted facilitator and qualified, accredited coach and coach supervisor, Mary’s experience is vast. She’s worked with large private and public sector organisations. Her track record extends across culturally diverse groups, and continents and countries including Africa, the Far East, South America and Eastern Europe.

As well as coaching she is a skilled leadership development facilitator and mediator and has a special interest in how leaders build resilience and capability in times of change.

Client organisations include:

Price Waterhouse Coopers, Capita, Logica;, Nissan, Transport for London; Transpennine Express, Business Innovation & Skills, Cabinet Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Department of Transport; The Home Office, Ministry of Defence, National School of Government Hyde Housing Association; Southern Housing, United House, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames,  London Borough of Haringey, London Borough of Islington, Brighton and Hove Council,

Here’s what Mary’s been working on recently:

  • At Nissan Mary has been supporting their managers develop in a range of areas including Developing Resilience for their international leaders.
  • Developing Resilience has also featured in her work with Hyde Housing along with Selection Interviewing and Change Management.
  • A leadership programme at Transpennine Express involved 360 feedback and coaching, Leadership 101 and Masterclasses in Coaching, Performance Management and Holding Difficult Conversations.
  • An NHS England sponsored programme coaching GP’s.

Mary’s professional credentials:

  • Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Member of the Association for Coaching – accredited Professional Coach
  • Member of the Association of Coaching Supervisors
  • Post Graduate Diploma I Coaching and NLP (Kingston University)
  • Diploma in Coaching Supervision – accredited Coach Supervisor
  • Certificate in Mediation
  • Master Practioner in NLP
  • Qualified in a range of psychometrics and development tools including: MBTI, FIRO B, Extended DISC, Team Management Systems and Talent Dynamics

Belinda Kiely

Belinda brings focus, energy and commercial acumen to all her work, whether working as a coach or facilitator, with individuals or with teams. By inspiring clients to be courageous, they do their best thinking, perform at their best more consistently, and as importantly, bring out the best in others.

Clients tell us it is the combination of Belinda’s professional coaching and business ownership experience that has a powerful, yet pragmatic, impact.  Having built up a successful consultancy and coaching business over 18 years, Belinda made a bold decision in 2005 to support her husband in making his dream a reality.  Together they bought and operated a hotel and golf resort for 7 years, turning a loss making operation into a thriving award winning business.  Belinda has since returned to her personal passion of coaching.

Belinda is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  She has a Masters in Human Resource Management and is professionally qualified as a coach mentor through the OCM/CIPD programme.

Client organisations have been wide ranging from both the public and private sector and have included global/European corporates, UK SMEs and growing/emerging businesses.

Specific recent clients include Sentinel Housing Association, RLHA/ELM Group, Now Vauxhall, Nuffield Health, Rugby Football Union, Jaguar Land Rover, Fladgate LLP.

Here’s a flavour of what she’s been working on recently:-

Using 360 feedback and 1:1 coaching, Belinda has supported the senior team of this rapidly growing business to review the effectiveness of their individual and collective leadership approach.  As a result, they have agreed a new way of working to meet the changing needs of the business.

1:1 coaching assignments have included working with a newly appointed Head of Department, preparing a junior manager for promotion, a Service Manager, CEOs, and the founder of a recently launched business.

Having previously designed and delivered a leadership development programme for the senior team, Belinda has worked with the ELM Group to develop a behaviour/values framework and a series of initiatives to embed this within the business.  The programme, which was shortlisted for a CIPD Award, has been instrumental in the organisation acheiving some ambitious business goals.

For Sentinel, Belinda designed and facilitated a series of coaching skills workshops, delivered to over 50 team leaders and managers. Managers are now confidently having powerful conversations with individuals on a day-to-day basis, increasing engagement, empowerment & personal responsibility.


Shamim Nasser

Shamim is an accredited Executive Coach and Organisational Consultant with extensive experience in coaching, facilitation and career development. Her expertise is in working with a diverse range of clients coming from a nuanced understanding of cross-cultural environments and different behavioural styles. Driven by curiosity, learning and a desire to facilitate growth in others, her significant experience of coaching has included clients based in locations across all continents, and working in public, private and not for profit sectors.

Her professional experience includes coaching at London Business School, working with alumni as well as on the Global Leadership and Management programmes, which included team coaching. She was formerly Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Kingston Business School and Management Advisor at the Industrial Society (now the Work Foundation). She has also been Board member (2016) for the UK Chapter of the International Coach Federation.

Qualifications: Master Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, Master’s degree in Organisational Psychology, Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. European Certificate in Coaching, Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy. British Psychology Society’s Certificate Level A and B (Psychometrics). Knowledge of a range of coaching disciplines and tools, including Somatic Coaching, NLP and Mindfulness

Experienced to give feedback on Hogan Leadership Assessment, 360, Emotional Intelligence, NEO PI-R and other Career Development assessments.

Client’s coached are frequently based in locations world-wide and come from a diverse range of organisations including National Health Service, British Council (coaching senior managers through an extensive change process), Ministry of Justice, The Treasury (facilitating an Action Learning set), Office of National Statistics, London Business School, Siemens, Citibank, KPMG, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Skype, Barclays, BP, Shell, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, HSBC, Car Phone Warehouse, Nestle and Unilever.


Carol Noakes

Carol Noakes is a licensed Insights Discovery practitioner specialising in face to face communication.

As well as Insights, Carol works with NLP and CBT techniques; actor-based performance skills for presence and audience relationship (on or off stage); applied improvisation for flexibility and creativity; and mindfulness-based coaching for state-management, balance and richer self-development.  She has an MA in Voice Studies (RCSSD); Leading and Developing High Performance Dip NLP and is certified in Mindfulness-Based Awareness Coaching.

Among many others, she has worked with:

  • ABC Bank: Design and delivery of their Management Development programmes (with Insights Discovery profiles and coaching).
  • DCLG, Odger Berndston: individual leadership and team effectiveness using Insights Discovery
  • HSBC, Environment Agency, Amey, Team International, St John’s Hospice, General Pharmaceutical Council, Lansdell and Rose, Network Stadium, Meningitis Trust, Best Start Federation Schools: co-design and delivery of Insights Discovery for team building and communication
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office: coaching leadership and personal impact, effective speaking and influencing, and advanced presentation skills for Bands A – D over 5 years. Also, designed and delivered bespoke programmes using Insights Discovery-based forum theatre.
  • The National College of School Leadership: developing and delivering an Insights Discovery based programme on Multi-Agency Team Development, supporting the change process, communication and continuing development of integrated children’s service teams. She co-designed and delivered all the forum theatre interventions for these programmes.
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital, Royal Marsden Hospital, ESTEC, ESOC: delivery and co-design of programme developing resilience for leaders and teams.

Barry Smith                                          

Barry is an innovative and enthusiastic housing and sustainability consultant and coach who brings a wealth of experience to the programmes he designs and delivers. Prior to becoming a consultant, Barry worked at senior levels in local authorities and housing associations and was Chair of Charlton Triangle Homes, an estate regeneration stock transfer association in SE London and a subsidiary of Family Mosaic on whose Board he served.

Since 2004, Barry has:

  • held executive interim roles e.g. Director of Operations at Hastoe Housing Group and Head of Operations at ELM
  • led environmental services agency Sustainable Homes introducing higher environmental standards in the construction and maintenance of homes
  • designed and delivered CIH Training programmes across England, specialising in executive leadership, governance and scrutiny, including support to LB Southwark in establishing a Housing Academy
  • provided independent tenant advisor services to Ashford Borough Tenant Federation
  • undertaken a training needs analysis and a forward focused training programme for Enfield Housing Services
  • designed and delivered a capacity and confidence programme for community health workers in Hackney and East London
  • supported executive team development at e.g. Impact Housing Association, Carrick Housing, executive and non-executive coaching at Impact, Dale and Valley Homes, Ashford BC, Riverside and Somer Housing Trust
  • undertaken an independent review of a Board activities
  • designed and delivered a wide range of housing and related services across England including housing law, asset management, motivational interviewing, environmental best practice, person centred planning, homelessness and community development
  • designed and delivered programmes for resilience and wellbeing for e.g. South Liverpool Homes and Hyde Property Services

Barry is the co-author of four best practice guides on environmental best practice in the sector.