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Who We Are

Coaching with Maria

Struggling with work-life balance, care about your work and your team but thinking about changing jobs in the next couple of years, it's a tough position to be in especially if you're juggling family and maybe harbouring a secret wish to start your own business. If that resonates with you, you've come to the right place.

Your stress points, your thinking and behaviours are not one size fits all, so your development shouldn't be. 


My work is about inspiring smart, creative, and intelligent people (just like you) to do the work they want in a way that is right for them. I will ensure you learn and you will be challenged in ways perhaps you didn't expect, I will provide an objective perspective, feedback and practical help if I can.


If I can help I will, it's individual development through conversations that open out thinking and give you the space to think clearly. Choosing the ‘right’ coach is crucial as the impact and the results depend on the quality of our relationship. 

Every person and situation is different, so first I want to hear from you and understand your challenges, what you need and importantly what you want.


You are not alone. Get in touch and see if I can help.

Coaching with Jeremy

Jeremy is based in Newmarket and works nationally as a professional life and executive coach. Jeremy delivers all our MHFA courses in-house or off-site. He is a member of a number of professional and charitable bodies, he believes that our world should be inclusive, with respect of diversity and integrity. 


His background is in business development and leadership and he combines his experience with resources within an inclusive people centred coaching business. His professional background is in retail with a focus on business development, customer experience, leadership and people management.

University of Cambridge graduate
Maria Varallo coach

I have over 25 years of experience in coaching, training, mentoring and running a business and then a non-profit, Illuminate is now 15 years old.

I have post-graduate degrees in Social Work (1998 ARU) and Business Coaching (2007 Barefoot Coaching & Chester University).

I'm a qualified Mental Health First Aider, a Human ToolBox practitioner and Clarity 4D trained.

Barefoot coaching graduate
Jeremy Gulvin

Qualified from University of Cambridge Dip. coaching plus certificate in Psychometrics BPS also University of Cambridge.


I am qualified as an Action Learning Set facilitator and Mental Health First Aid Instructor, CiPD Dip. level 5 Organaisation learning and development. Mental Health First Aid instructor and trainer.

Jeremy was excellent, and it's one of the best courses I've been on! 

There was a lot to get through, and quite heavy but Jeremy delivered it at a good pace and with humour - that was very needed at times. The personal touch and honesty of Jeremy about his own experiences were also really helpful.


Thanks to Jeremy and the content I could concentrate and enjoy learning for the whole two days.

AH University of Cambridge Museums 

Maria delivered a talk that was particularly refreshing, offering insights into the challenges of hybrid working and offering useful ways to protect our mental health.

She’s an engaging speaker who gave our managers permission to consider whether they are doing enough to look after themselves and their teams, especially working from home. There was time to reflect and discuss how we are during this difficult time.

Rachel Allen Comms Manager Alzheimer’s Research UK

Just three sessions and even in that short time Maria was so helpful. I got clear on my focus and goals on social media. I have the start of a communications plan and know what needs to happen next.


I am so much clearer on where I need to focus my efforts. Thank you Maria!

Schia Mitchell Sinclair, Medical Herbalist and Craniosacral Therapist

I really enjoyed working with Maria, she has a unique ability to combine care and honesty without losing sight of the goal. She quickly got to the heart of it sharing insights into my blind spots which was very interesting and enlightening.


Maria is also creative, a quality I appreciated as this is something I think I'm not and it brought a fresh approach to our work together.


She's compassionate, business-focused and resourceful. A great combination!

Charlotte Marsh-Scott

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