SYC Coaching

We help leaders grow their skills and awareness for taking innovative, strategic action so they leave behind a legacy of empowered, thriving individuals, and flourishing communities.

For leaders of or in Churches and Christian or Secular organisations, and their teams.


Are you at a loss to know how to spark the innovation and creativity needed for your team or organisation to respond to your changed and changing context? Or maybe you’re simply worn out trying to lead a disaffected team with unhelpful dynamics and reduced effectiveness?


Perhaps you already have some great programs going but your beneficiaries are still ‘stuck’ and not progressing to next steps?


Perhaps your life or circumstances have changed, you still want to make a difference in the world but you’re not sure what that looks like for you now?  

What if…

… your team was functioning at its best, generating and implementing innovative, strategic responses to meet the real needs you exist to address?

… the lives of the people you serve were genuinely improved in lasting, sustainable ways as a result of your work or ministry?

… you were able to openly work through your leadership concerns and dilemmas to resolution; in a safe, confidential and professional context?

Hospital Admin Lead

“Claire’s approach is very practical. I appreciate being able to bring both specific situations and abstract questions to work through. I feel like I am getting personal and professional growth out of the experience, and tools that will serve me well after coaching ends.”

Freelance Writer and Fundraiser

It’s been helpful to connect the dots between the different areas of my life and reflect on the interplay between work and rest, productivity and Sabbath.”

Secondary School Principal

“Claire chooses the right moment to get me to reflect on what I’m saying and asks pertinent questions to probe what I’m really trying to achieve. She doesn’t give me the solution or tell me what to do but through her questions and reflections she enables me to see the best solution.”

Church of England Vicar

“Claire is a warm, dynamic person, who always helps me to feel more positive about my own performance. I trust her because of her own leadership background and this gives me confidence in our times together. “

What SYC Coaching could do for you

One coaching session could bring the breakthrough for a pressing issue you are facing in your work.

A series of sessions could transform your practice and bring about a thriving future for your team and beneficiaries.

Claire Bankole

Claire Bankole

CEO and Coach

Hi! I am Claire Bankole, CEO of Shift Youth + Community and I provide Coaching for Senior Leaders (and their teams) who want to leave a legacy of flourishing communities and thriving individuals as a result of their work. As a practicing Christian I am passionate about seeing people like yourself thrive and bring your gift for the benefit of those around you. My experience as a Paediatrician, an Executive, Missionary, Caseworker and Youth Worker, in diverse cultural settings, overseas development, intentional community, churches, schools and urban community work, all equips me richly to support you on your journey of growth as a leader.

If you would like to find out more about me, my background and my approach to coaching, I’ve written about it all here.


What to Expect:

As a coach I work intentionally with you to realise your own full potential as a leader as well as that of your team and the people you serve. The process can involve exploring your current reality, clarifying the future outcomes you want to see, developing effective strategies, as well as deciphering interpersonal dynamics and identifying problematic assumptions and behaviours that need replacing.  Ultimately your development is yours to own, so you will be the one deciding what we work on during each session. Scroll down to read more about my particular approach to coaching.

Some Important Stuff:

I have a Level 7 Certificate for Executive and Senior Level Coaches and Mentors from the Institute of Leadership and Management. I am a member of the EMCC, accredited with them at practitioner level, and I subscribe to EMCC’s Code of Ethics. I am also a member of the Christian Coach and Mentor Network. Initially my work was pro bono but there is now a fee structure in place, all income will go to supporting the youth and community work of SYC. Find out about coaching and training fees here. 


How it all Works

Step 1) Book yourself an introduction session

Step 2) Decide if the introduction session was fruitful for you

Step 3) If it was, sign up for a series of sessions (minimum 6)

Step 4) Experience the transformation of your leadership and work.

A Brief Word on Coaching

Coaching is how I can journey with you to facilitate your learning and growth so you can become the leader God made you to be. Rather than giving you advice or solutions, as a coach my job is to help you discover the best way forward for you, your team and how you serve your beneficiaries. Transformative change and action are the outcomes you can expect when we both show up to each session ready to put in the work.

What we offer

Introductory Sessions



For Leaders of / in Churches and Christian Organisations

If you are a Christian leader operating with a Christian mandate Claire would be delighted to meet with you in person or on zoom depending on how local you are. Your session will include some time to pray, inviting the Lord into the conversation as you harmonise with the gift he has for you to bring through your leadership. 


For Leaders of / in Non-faith Based Organisations

Whether or not you are a Christian Claire would be delighted to meet with you online or in person depending on what your preference is. Your session will include a grounding / mindfulness exercise to help arrive and work together towards the good that is on your heart to bring to the world through your leadership.

An introductory session lasts an hour and a half; it includes one hour of coaching and half an hour to explore and decide what the right next steps for you are in terms of coaching with me. During the coaching hour, we will address an issue or dilemma of your choice that you are currently facing.

Not Quite Ready?

Explore Further


SYC Bespoke Training and Mentoring 

At SYC we have our own expertise and that of the rest of our movement to draw on so that we can provide training and mentoring in a number of areas. What we offer here is a great adjunct to the coaching relationship; coaching could be an ideal way to help you integrate and implement the learning you gain from this training. Scroll down to watch a video from a recent training retreat we ran for two teams in Athens, Greece.

(If you’re after input in a specific area not covered here, do still drop us a line to check as we may be able to help, what follows isn’t a comprehensive list!)

Shaping Culture

The culture of a team, organisation or community is shaped by the interplay between its shared history, its vision of the future and the values that are lived out by its members.  The culture is what people experience when they interact with your team, organisation or community. We can help you learn how to shape your culture and ensure it remains strong and even spreads beyond you so that others adopt it. We can provide this training and mentoring in a secular setting as well as in a Christian setting with clear theological grounding. Read our post here for more information.

Skills for Mentoring Others

Whether you work with troubled young people or simply want to get the best from your team and anything in between, this training will be helpful for you!  We can help you develop your own self-awareness so that you better understand yourself and those you work with. This along with knowing how best to use certain interpersonal skills will ensure that rather than being part of a social system that keeps everyone (including yourself) trapped in familiar behaviours, you can help others grow into freedom, health and maturity. We can provide this training and mentoring in a secular setting as well as in a Christian setting with clear theological grounding. Read our post here for more information.


Developing Strategy for Holistic Christian Mission.

At its best, Christian mission that is centred on God’s Kingdom, is long term in its perspective, addressing local needs with local resources, building a life affirming, healthy culture that the whole community enjoys and benefits from, and helping those who choose to, to follow Jesus.

We can teach and support you as you develop intentional strategies to achieve all these things. We’ll cover everything from hearing and praying God’s heart for your community and getting to know and trust every section of the community, to collaborating with both secular and Christian groups as well as losing the program/project focused mentality to mission that so often hinders the work. There are 8 Key Missional Indicators that can be used to assess where you are and what areas need more work. We will cover all these and more to set you on your way. Read our post here for more information.


Here are some testimonials from people who are currently being coached by Claire

Claire is a warm, dynamic person, who always helps me to feel more positive about my own performance. I trust her because of her own leadership background and this gives me confidence in our times together. I am in transition as I look for my first incumbency (leading my first church as vicar) and Claire has provided a much needed sounding board, encouragement and challenge at a time when I have felt quite isolated. I would recommend her highly to anyone who is willing to put in the effort to improve their own performance.

CofE Vicar

We always start our sessions with a few minutes of mindfulness and this is a great opportunity for me to discard the pressures of work and create space for me to reflect on myself and what I’m trying to achieve. I feel this technique enables our meeting to feel like coaching and supportive rather than all the other meetings I sit in which are always “business” meeting.
Claire chooses the right moment to get me to reflect on what I’m saying and asks pertinent questions to probe what I’m really trying to achieve. She doesn’t give me the solution or tell me what to do but through her questions and reflections she enables me to see the best solution.

Secondary School Principal

It has been an extremely positive and empowering experience that has challenged, inspired and helped me to recognize strengths and challenge my own behaviours that (at times) undermined my future success. Each session has provided inspiration and motivation.

Senior Manager, Higher Education NHS.

I love that Claire clearly communicates that this is my coaching journey, and from the outset I have understood that I am responsible to get the most our of coaching, including keeping myself accountable. Claire isn’t holding my hand and doing things for me, I imagine her sitting with me and encouraging me to do for myself!

Freelance Writer and Fundraiser

My Approach to Coaching

Long Term mentoring is the mainstay of our youth work at SYC. Coaching is different. When looking for someone to mentor us in our work, we need someone who has more experience in our field than we do. When looking for someone to coach us in our work, we need a great coach.Often it’s better if our coach is not familiar with our context.  

As a coach I am not the expert on your particular team; you are. 

I am not the expert on the church, school, or organisation you lead; you are. 

I am not the expert on your beneficiaries, shareholders, stakeholders or community; you are. 

Rather, my job is to work with you in such a way that you can access and grow your expertise so that you can achieve the outcomes you are looking for. I will help you grow your skills and awareness for taking innovative, strategic action, and I hope that as a result you will find that your legacy is one of  empowered, thriving individuals, and a flourishing community. 

Key to a successful coaching experience is a great working relationship between coach and coachee. I take my role in creating the coaching relationship seriously. I will help us clarify the boundaries for our work, and we will make our expectations and needs in that context explicit. When we discover some that aren’t explicit, we will bring them into the open through a process of giving and receiving feedback. I will make certain commitments to you and our process, and invite you to make your own. 

Coaching for me is a joy and privilege. I am honoured to spend time with you as your coach. If you have read my post ‘About Claire’ you will understand when I say coaching is genuinely one of my favourite things in life.

Coaching vs Mentoring

Claire has written a short blog post describing her experience of coaching as opposed to her experience of mentoring. You might find it interesting as you consider whether coaching is the right step for you. Have a read here.

Want to know about costs and fees? You’ll find everything you need to know here.

Join the movement

There are many ways to join the SYC movement and participate in shifting culture across our nation.

Get in touch

For more information on Coaching with SYC or anything else we offer, please get in touch.