Funded by the Lancaster University Friends Programme the team brings together Beccy, Liz and Hilary from Lancaster University with Will (Professional Coach) and Rob Young (Professional writer). Different combinations of us have worked together before in one way or another, and we’ve all experienced the challenges of learning to fail better in one way or another!

Rebecca Whittle – Lecturer in Human Geography, Lancaster University

With Liz, Beccy will be co-leading the research element of the project to make sure the wider lessons are learnt. Beccy is a Lecturer in Human Geography, with apparently quite diverse interests in food, emotions, children & families, learning and failure (!) and sustainability. She works part-time, so keeping her interests in check can be difficult However, at the heart of her different projects, she’s interested in relationality – put simply, in exploring the ways in which we come to connect with each other and the world around us… She’s a newby to twitter @beccy_whittle


Liz Brewster – Lecturer in Medical education, Lancaster University

With Beccy, Liz will be co-leading the research element of the project to make sure the wider lessons are learnt. Liz is a Non-Clinical Lecturer in Medical Education. As a qualitative health sociologist, and with a background as a librarian, Liz is interested in social media and well-being, using technology for self-management of long-term conditions, using social science research methods in healthcare improvement research, with a focus on programme implementation, and professional training for medical practice, with a focus on resilience. She tweets a lot @LizBrewster

Hilary Simmons – Head of Colleges and Student Life, Lancaster University

Hillary  brings vast experience of running services to support students struggling with stress, anxiety and the fear of failure. Hilary will make sure the project feeds into the placesit needs to at the university.

Rob Young – Professional Writer 

Rob will be helping us generate creative communications from the project drawing on students experience. Rob is an award-winning writer. Rob wrote the first online play for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It appeared on 25 million tweets, trended 4th in the world and won two Lovie Awards (Internet Oscars). His feature film, Miranda, won the Audience Award at London’s Raindance Film Festival and his adaptation of Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize winning novella, The Old Man and the Sea, won the Award for Artistic Excellence at England’s biggest arts festival. Rob has been commissioned to write original scripts for Working Title, Aardman, Sony, Radio 4, Filmfour and The National Theatre. His theatre shows have received many kind reviews in the broadsheets, A fascinating playwright, The Times. More on Rob at He tweets @R0BY0UNG (that’s zero’s not ooo’s)

Will Medd – Professional Coach

Rob took this photo – that is neither a halo nor Will’s ego ! Will is leading the workshops and group coaching element of the programme. He was once an academic and now, as a coach, he brings over 1000+ hours of professionally logged coaching, having coached clients across the UK, Europe and North and South America, and from a range of professional backgrounds, including: lecturers, professors, PhD students, undergraduate students, teachers, neuroscientists, medical researchers, care-workers, counsellors, writers, consultants, youth workers. Will specialises in group coaching having worked with over 50 groups, including undergraduates, PhD students, researchers and academics at all stages of career in University and NHS settings. He tweeted once and decided that was enough. More on Will at

Edith Graham – Professional Coach

Will and Edith failed many times while training together as coaches. Edith holds a deep commitment to developing people and unlocking the creative and collaborative potential of individuals and teams. Connecting to the leader within is at the heart of her practice and her unique blend of people alchemy mixes compassionate challenge, honesty and insight with the skills of coach and facilitator to create resource and results-oriented learning alliances.  Edith brings over 20 years experience in the Learning & Skills Sector, working across many contexts (education, health, social work). Her background and passion for learning and leadership stems from her roots as a teacher and facilitator of adults, empowering individuals and raising levels of consciousness and commitment to new possibilities, which ultimately has led to training as a coach.  If you look at Linked-in you’ll see Edith knows Lancaster well…