john dawson

John Dawson

John Dawson

When I first came across this work I loved the freedom it gave me and how the course helped build my confidence. I trained in Speaking Circles in 2000 and I regularly attend and co-lead the European Facilitators training conferences.
I’ve run over 800 workshops and I love doing the work. Once public speaking isn’t a problem - what could people do with their lives? It means we can become active participants in this fleeting life rather than self-critical observers. Fundamentally I want to help people get the most out of their lives. 


I am married to Clare who is wonderful and has supported me like no other person. We were both born in the same hospital in Huddersfield but only met in Bristol years later!
My life was changed when my mother committed suicide four days after my 21st birthday. She never found her mission or her place in life and in many ways couldn’t cope with what life had to bring. She was also addicted to tranquilisers which added to the confusion.
My previous work as founding editor of The Spark Magazine and now in public speaking both have their foundation in helping people find ways to change. So my mother's death, although incredibly painful for me at the time, has brought forth a transformative energy through my work. It's now thirty seven years since she died. My work isn’t about death or bereavement - it's about the incredible gift of life and what we can do with it.
For these reasons, helping people take their place in the world is at the very heart of my work

training and background

• ACT two day training 2019
• Leadership of annual European Speaking Circle conferences 2011-2018
• Warriors for the Human Spirit Training with Meg Wheatley 2015
• Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Course in Lincoln 2011
• The Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry Course in Lincoln 2010
•  Spirituality and Leadership course at Woodbrooke Quaker College 2010
• Leadership in times of Chaos with Margaret Wheatley at Schumacher college, 2010
• Transformational Learning Workshop with Michael Carroll 2010
• Common Purpose Leadership Course 2008-9
•  Founded and edited The Spark Magazine 1993 to August 2008
• Two year Diploma in Group Facilitation IDHP
• Diploma in Health Education from Bristol Polytechnic and devised training for HEA drugs course
• Trained as a counsellor at BADAS
• Honours Degree from Keele University, a long time ago!
•  A proud holder of a Bus Conductors Certificate, my first job in Bristol and I didn't have a clue where I was going on those buses!

When I'm not training

I've been a photographer since I was 12. In July 2018 I put my first photography website together and it's had some lovely reviews. My photography is all about trying to see the beauty in the everyday and sometimes a cheeky way of looking at things!

Rebecca Burton

It's been an absolute pleasure to work with John since I took over from his previous colleague, Annie Frere towards the end of 2016. I love being part of a team that truly improve peoples lives. It is the most inspirational and fulfilling work you could help to do. I assist John with making all the bookings on his courses and the administration involved with running the business. Above all, I help to put people at ease from the minute they make their first enquiry as I know that this in itself is a huge step. 

I live in Bath with my husband and 3 children and enjoy making the most of living in this beautiful city.  I split my time between working for John and a Bath based charity called 'I Can and I Am' who run motivational talks in secondary schools headed up by James Shone.

I hold a 2:1 degree in Natural Sciences from Durham University and I have been involved in a variety of exciting small businesses since graduation.