Shropshire recruitment coach up for unsung hero award

A Shropshire life coach who has made it her mission to help people prepare for the unexpected trials and tribulations that retirement can bring has been nominated for a prestigious Midlands business award.

Gill Mathias
Gill Mathias

Trained psychotherapist Gill Mathias, aged 68, has been recognised in the Role Model of the Year Award category of the Midlands Business and Community Charity Awards 2018.

The winners will be announced at a black tie event at The Holte Suite at Aston Villa FC, Villa Park, Aston, Birmingham on November 9 2018.

Gill said: “I was absolutely stunned to be told that I had been nominated for this award and I have absolutely no idea who has put my name forward.

“But it really is a great honour and I am delighted and very touched to have been recognised.”

As well as training employees in their later years, Gill offers business coaching and resilience coaching to companies or individuals. She volunteers as a mentor to help vulnerable people get their lives on track for the Prince’s Trust.

She is on the board of The Gateway Adult Education Centre in Shrewsbury and for 20 years has been a trustee at the city’s Roy Fletcher Charitable Trust, which supports vulnerable families, young, disadvantaged, disabled or elderly people living in Shropshire.

Through her long and varied career Gill has worked in property – she was a director at Fletcher Estates in Harlescott, Shrewsbury, for 20 years – run her own gym and health centre, started and run a successful aromatherapy business and retrained as a business coach/psychotherapist and NLP master practitioner, as well as raising three children. She has six grandchildren.

Gill plays county tennis for Shropshire, where she started as a junior and now plays in the over 65s section.

Gill believes that many people make the same mistakes in the run-up to retirement, having misconceptions about the challenges that leaving work can bring. She has made it her role to help others prepare for the end of their working lives, coaching everyone from bus drivers to CEOs and visiting businesses to advise their employees on retirement planning offering a different plan for each individual.

She said: “So many British people still hold onto this romantic belief that they will retire at around 65 and then spend their remaining years enjoying cosy pub lunches, going on cruises, or just spending quality time with their significant other – who they may have only really have seen during holidays for the last 40 or so years.

“The question I ask each client is ‘What does retirement mean to you?’ It’s about understanding who you are after you leave your role and gaining clarity about your self-identity. Do you need to continue working part time to supplement your income? Do you want to get out of your comfort zone and try something new?

“What tends to happen is that people look forward so much to retirement, but everyone needs a plan and a vision. Often clients dread retirement because they have no idea what they will do after they give up the nine-to-five.”

A spokesman for the MBCC Awards said: “This award recognises an individual who puts others before their own needs by going the extra mile to selflessly help others. These nominations are for someone who has stepped in to help time and time again on their own initiative and is modest in their approach.”

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