“What do you want to learn today?”
It’s the question Helen and Nick Moyes start every day with.
Perhaps you want to master your new sewing machine or learn your way around a computer or digital camera? Do you need someone to break down a new diet-plan for you, translate medical jargon or teach you how to cook?
Luckily there isn’t much that Sheffield couple Helen and Nick don’t know how to do.
The pair, who live in Ecclesall, offer a home coaching service which specialises in connecting people with whatever skills or knowledge they desire.
“Simply put, we bring training and knowledge into your home,” explains Helen, who specialises in home and family management coaching.
“We’ve taught men how to prepare a romantic meal for their wives, parents how to cook nutritious meals for their kids, helped people to set up digital calendars and even de-clutter and reorganise their wardrobes.
“We’re passionate about increasing confidence and skills and helping people learn what they need to learn right when they want to learn it.”
IT trainer husband Nick is a self-confessed tech-geek, who worked as an engineer designing safety equipment for coal mines in the region before they shut down. He now does freelance work as a technical writer reviewing computers and software.
“My speciality is demystifying technology for people,” explains the 64-year-old.
“Whether it’s a computer, tablet, or digital camera, I break them down for people in the way an instruction manual can’t.”
The couple have three children, all now in their twenties, and say they’ve always practiced what they preach, going out of their way to instill their kids with vital, everyday skills.
“Our kids can all cook, clean and manage a budget,” say Helen, aged 50.
“So many kids don’t seem to be able to do those things now and that’s sort of where the idea for the business came from. We had a wealth of experience between us and were keen to experiment with the idea of offering people a ‘professional friend’ who could guide them through a learning process.”
Helen and Nick have both studied adult education, qualifying at Sheffield Hallam University before launching their home coaching business part time in 2010. When Helen took redundancy from her job at Sheffield Council last year, they decided to build the business up.
“We don’t work like a lot of courses, there’s no syllabus,” Helen adds.
“It’s simply a case of asking someone, ‘what would you like to learn today?’ ‘What would you like to be able to do?’ ‘How would you like your home to be?’ and then going from there.”
Nick adds: “A lot of it is about instilling confidence, encouraging people to believe they can master things they thought they wouldn’t be able to. We tell people not to apologise for what they don’t know and that it’s okay to need help, particularly with things like computers; younger people today grew up surrounded by digital devices, older people didn’t, so they’re to be applauded for seeking these skills out.
“Also, rather than being taught in a classroom with slightly different brands or models of equipment to what you have at home, we’re teaching you skills in your own environment actually using the very products that you want to master.”
And what if they’re asked to teach something they don’t know?
“It hasn’t happened yet,” says Helen.
“But we do have a wide network of contacts, meaning that we could very easily outsource a job if it was something we personally weren’t able to teach.”
And Helen says the desire to learn starts at home with the two of them, who are always keen to learn a new skill.
“We’re both fans of ergonomics,” laughs Helen.
“The science of understanding and planning interactions between us as humans and any system. If there’s anything we can do to make a home or a process run more smoothly, reduce fatigue and optimise performance, we want to know more.”
The pair charge £25 for the first hour of their service, then £5 each additional 15 minutes.
Helen adds: “We find about 1.5 hours is long enough for anyone to sit one-on-one and learn something in a session. Obviously it may take more than one session, depending on what skill is being learned, but we’re happy to follow the clients lead.
“Last week a woman asked for my help in taking control of her wardrobe, but she could only afford to pay for an hour, so I did as much as I could in that time and got her started, showing her everything that needed to be done, so that she was able to tackle the rest of job herself once I’d gone. We’re as flexible as we can be for our clients.”
And the pair even offer gift vouchers for people who find themselves in a gift dilemma.
Helen adds: “We all have something we’d love to be able to do, a skill we wish we’d had the time to master, but it’s hard to nail ourselves down to it when we’re all so busy with a million other things to do.
“That’s where we come in.”
Visit www.homecoaching.co.uk for details.