Interview with Chair of the Month: Gill Martin

trustee forum chair

Introduce yourself..

I’m an executive coach, consultant and facilitator with twenty-five years’ experience in a wide range of sectors in the UK and Europe.  With a background in Learning and Organisational Development, I’m fascinated by people and organisations and getting under the skin of what makes them tick. 

Leading organisations can be complex, challenging and rewarding in equal measure and I’m passionate about developing resourceful and resilient leaders who can deliver individual performance at the highest level while ensuring their own wellbeing remains front of focus. During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work in some amazing organisations, places where people worked hard, cared deeply, formed friendships and were given the freedom to try new things and fail happy. It continues to fuel my enthusiasm for encouraging businesses to have a positive impact on the people that work in them and the people they serve. 

I now work independently and with a number of small consultancies providing coaching to individuals, groups and teams. I live with my husband and negotiate the coming and going of three grown-up children. When not working I’m out and about, walking, running or swimming in the green spaces of north London or in the local yoga studio. 


What influenced you to become a chair for ella forums? 

I’m a firm believer in the power of peer learning and so it was a pleasure to be asked to chair the first ella Trustees forum. The ella leadership team has a huge passion for what they do and the ella values of Curiosity, Creativity, Courage and Love really struck a chord. 

Smaller organisations and especially charities and social enterprises often have less access leadership development than their larger counterparts. The ella approach is highly practical and very close to my own philosophy for learning so it enables me to bring the kind of work I do in commercial organisations into the third sector. 

I love working with groups and seeing the relationships develop and the mutual support grow. Members also find they develop their own coaching skills which they take back and use with their own teams. 


What can charity leaders expect from becoming an ella member? 

Trustees can expect a warm welcome from experienced peers who’ll have their best interests at heart. Forums are run on a coaching principle which means we listen to each other and ask questions to deepen thinking and broaden perspectives. 

In the peer-peer meetings members are invited to bring their own issues, challenges, and opportunities and are given the space and time to think them through. As members get to know each other trust and safety build. We offer support to each other but also challenge. Sharing ideas for action with peers builds commitment and accountability. 

Ella members can also attend monthly speaker sessions on topics ranging from financial management to diversity and inclusion, from strategy development to managing stakeholder relationships.

How can someone find out more about joining your forum? 

The ella website is good place to start, from here you can register to join one of our monthly forums as a guest to experience ella for yourself. Alternatively, you can contact me at and I’ll organise a time for a conversation.