I am Dr Sheila Preston, a transformative practitioner with over 24 years’ experience in education and community settings.

"I truly believe that it is possible to thrive even when working in situations that are messy and chaotic.
Doing crucial work in the helping professions takes immense courage but this can be at the cost of your own well being. 
So I’m committed to supporting you to move from surviving to thriving so you can continue to change lives without burning out"

My passion is to help heart-centred practitioners and facilitators dare to thrive doing the work they love even when it feels challenging and difficult.

  • No more accepting that survival mode is the only way in high pressured, volatile and changing environments.
  • No more holding back from showing up as ‘you’ because you are worried that you are not a good enough practitioner, or that you don't have what it takes.
  • No more putting on a ‘front' and pretending you need to toughen up because you’ve been told that you might be damaged by your experience. 

Instead, I believe that when you truly realise your resilience and lean into your practice as a heart-centred practitioner - showing up with authenticity and compassion with vulnerable, excluded and hard to reach communities without compromising your integrity - THIS is when you truly thrive.

What’s more, I know (and I think you do too) that when you show up in this way - with presence, ease and connection - this will bring transformation to the lives of others.

How did I get here?

Throughout my career I've worked in a range of roles - lecturer, author, drama worker, facilitator, mediator, head of department, and coach - with a broad range of people such as university employees, students in inner-city London, neighbourhoods, young people at risk of exclusion, young people with disabilities, and adults in mental health settings.

I've supported 100’s of practitioners working in all sorts of community and educational settings with vulnerable participants. I realised that despite working in very challenging situations many practitioners feel they are on their own emotionally and practically. Feeling alone can lead to doubt and insecure thinking resulting in wondering if you are cut out for this work. Left alone, this thinking can lead to disillusionment and, at worst, distress and burn out as good people leave professions that they were once committed to. 

I really understood this because I was going through similar situations. My multiple roles supporting people in vulnerable situations, juggling with over-stretched systems and internal politics, long commutes (as well as parenting a child with special needs), left me feeling exhausted, depleted. I started to doubt myself, I over worked, I became overwhelmed and anxious, and finally I had to step back.

When I took some time out and experienced my own coaching journey, I realised now that life didn't have to be that way.  I realised that it could be possible to thrive in high pressured and difficult situations.

I understand NOW how my thinking affected how I saw myself and my situation. When I truly realised deep down that I could not be harmed by my situation, my relationship to things outside of me shifted. I realised I was not a victim (of systems, circumstance, or people). And now I know for sure that even when it seems like you are in a 'mess' it is ALWAYS possible to have clarity, peace of mind, and wellbeing.

I KNOW the same is possible for you so I am committed to supporting you on your journey so YOU can fall in love again with the work you were drawn to do - making a real difference without burning out.


What they say

Varshini Pichemuthi

Facilitator, Co-artistic director

Working with Sheila has enabled me to ask the hard questions that I was too afraid to ask myself. She reminded me about the power of vulnerability and how to harness that power to increase creativity and joy for and in the heart-centred work we are doing and in general life.  

Sheila has helped me trust in my own innate wisdom and to fully embrace the knowledge that I am enough as a person and therefore as a facilitator with my own unique nature.

Arji Manuelpillai

Poet, Performer, Facilitator

I was coached by Sheila during a difficult time in my career. I was burnt out, tired, angry and frustrated. She focused my mind on what was important, helped me realise my essence and understand where my strengths were.

It was after our meetings that I began to put real time and devotion into my art again, this fed into my practise as a facilitator and it finally meant I created some of the best artistic work of my career. Sheila was instrumental in my growth as a person and an artist.