Liz and Phil bring together a unique blend of skills, qualifications and experience to offer a broad range of events at The Countryside Retreat.


Liz has had a long career in social work, culminating in executive leadership in the social care charity sector. She started out as a volunteer leader on countryside residential programmes for children and young people from inner city areas needing a supportive break from difficult family and life circumstances.

After her psychology degree, Liz qualified as a social worker and gained postgraduate qualifications in applied social studies, leadership and management. She also followed training in counselling, personal performance coaching and became an NLP Master Practitioner. Liz maintains her registration with Social Work England.

Liz has supported many different communities and developed a broad spectrum of people skills becoming a compassionate and effective with a particularly empowering approach that helps people bring about positive change in their lives.  

She has always had a love of the great outdoors, using her Basic Expedition Leadership qualification with groups and teaching on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme alongside her early social work career.

In relation to music, as a young teenager, Liz learned the flute and taught herself guitar. She did the formal flute grades and for a time played first flute in the Trafford Youth Orchestra but it has always been the informal, improvised social playing that she loves most.

Later in life Liz picked up the banjo, whistle and mandolin which came along with the discovery of traditional folk music. She provides folk-tune playing workshops with the Tuneworks team and others, at folk festivals with the philosophy of ‘Learn it, Love it, Pass it on’.

The Countryside Retreat is the perfect setting for Liz to continue offering well-being coaching, activities and music workshops in a rural environment making good use of the outdoors.


Phil has a background in chemistry with a long career in science research and process engineering culminating in technical supply chain senior management.  The leadership of teams stimulated Phil’s interest in personal development and as a result, in 2004 he left industry to become a freelance personal development coach.

Among a range of people related skills-training including an advanced diploma in coaching, he is an accredited NLP trainer and has an MSc in Psychology and holds a Doctorate in Philosophy. He has had several articles published on the role of values in communication and personal development.

Phil has been involved in delivering many types of multi-team workshops and events involving physical and mental activities both indoors and outdoors. Phil’s love of the great outdoors began in his youth while walking, climbing and camping in the Welsh hills and on the Duke of Edinburgh Award. He has been a keen walker and camper ever since.

In relation to music, as a youngster Phil was taught piano and as an adult picked up the guitar.  He’s now a keen guitarist and joins Liz and the Tuneworks team in helping run tune-playing workshops at folk festivals through the summer and loves bringing that experience to The Countryside Retreat.

As well as his personal development work, in 2010 Phil turned his long term interest into a profession. He qualified as an electrician and applied this with his joinery, plastering, plumbing and general building skills to a decade of building projects. He is delighted to be using these skills renovating Bank House with Liz, making it into their home and The Countryside Retreat.