"When I understood the process, and realised friends and colleagues had nominated me for the honour I was incredibly touched," Carol said.
"It was incredibly satisfying to see these two delivering great childcare and making such a massive difference to so many people. Many of the people who got involved hadn't had much chance to think about their own future careers and, through developing Babywood,they were able to move into good choices."
"Working for myself seemed the best way to get the blend between family, work and voluntary work right for me.
Carol Coombes has made a career helping individuals identify their strengths, challenge themselves and reach their full potential.
Carol's children were the driving force behind her first venture.
She is now a doting grandmother to three year old Jake and Alex who is 16 months. Like many other grandparents, her best moments are when she's looking after them.
Some of the organisations Carol had a hand in creating are among the longest running in the UK; a legacy of which she is justifiably proud.
"There wasn't huge diversity in the CABx, which made it harder for people to feel that the volunteers identified with their issues," Carol said."Most volunteers at that time were middle class retired people.
women? "I love working with clever people, men or women. But too often at Omega Speedmaster New
She has also created sustainable social enterprises, transformed the Midlands Citizen's Advice Bureaux and being the first non white woman on the West Midlands Power 50. She is just leaving the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee, after helping to recruit magistrates to the West Midlands Bench, and is a confident and incredibly youthful individual.
"With insights into individual strengths and talents plus neutral peer feedback, the Sharpening Your Edge course is helpingus, as women, turn this on its head."
Her track record is impressive. She runs programmes for women including Sharpening your Edge and has set up the Second Mondays networking group. She also works with senior teams and gives keynote leadership addresses.
Carol has achieved a great deal; she has built a career throughout which she has consistently empowered and helped others and dedicated hours over many years to a Omega Watches Speedmaster Automatic variety of voluntary work in the local community. The OBE she received in HM The Queen's Birthday Honours list was in recognition of her contribution.
So far, 23 people have completed Sharpening Your Edge, and many attribute promotions or other progressive moves that happened during or shortly after the course directly to the insights they gained during the process.
Tom Fleming speaks tocity consultant Carol Coombes OBE, whose passion to help others has earned her an OBE
This experience led to a job Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m
senior meetings I've been the only woman, or the only non white woman present," she said.
"I stayed at home until the eldest two were school age," she said. "I wanted to work then and decided to send the youngest two to a nursery but there wasn't one, let alone the brilliant one they deserved. I decided, with others, to set up a community nursery and from there went on to establish a community crche.
"In my experience, policy makers want this diversity of experience but often don't know how to tap into it.
"So far, so good. You can never predict what will happen next but right now it feels good to be in charge of my own future."
But why the particular focus on Omega Watch Red
She then went on to the high profile role of chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Birmingham, which was cited as the largest voluntary advice agency in the world at that time. Keeping her focus on long term sustainability, Carol transformed the CABx from an organisation dependent on grant aid to a thriving social business, securing the largest not for profit contracts with the Legal Services Commission and growing the number oftrained volunteers.
Chat to her for even just a few moments and you'll find out that the most important thing in her life is her family. Binki (real name Lisa) 29, Rik, (27), Shannen (22) and Tas (soon to be 21) are 'all really good people, witty, clever and everything any mum could ask for'.
Next was a furniture project in Ladywood."People around us were getting a flat or house and then were unable to furnish it," she said."This often caused a spiral which ended in their not being able to keep the tenancy or get another. The furniture project was simple. We sought donations of unwanted, good quality, furniture and then passed the pieces on to people who needed them."
as a social enterprise development worker in Ladywood in a voluntary organisation funded by Birmingham City Council. After a while Carol could look back at sustainable community projects her drive had helped develop, including child and domiciliary care, a funeral service and environmental projects.
But, despite all this, to Carol her greatest achievement is her family. "My family is very close, mutually supportive and lots of fun,through good times and bad. I am immensely proud of every one of them!".
City consultant on the drive of her life
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