Alison Westwood - Company Director
Alison has a broad based experience of the public, private and third sectors. A physiotherapist in the NHS, Alison worked her way up to management but also ran her own successful private practice. A variety of roles in the third sector, such as Foodbank Manager, Community Ambassador and charity trustee provided invaluable experience and insight. Alison understands the importance of excellent communication, building strong working relationships and playing to people’s strengths; these values reinforce all company activities.
As a sole trader with Eclipse Gift Wrapping, Alison built her understanding of small business and honed her teaching, presentation and demonstration skills. Successful projects with large corporates and the award of substantial local authority contracts led to development of the consultancy, Eclipse Wales Services Ltd.
Eclipse works on a not for profit basis as well as trading conventionally and consults with a variety of proven, experienced professionals with diverse skill sets. Alison’s company ethos exemplifies professionalism, transparency and flexibility with client consultation and satisfaction a high priority at all times.
John Westwood - Consultant & Facilitator
John has a diverse background. Initially a professional sailor, moving and delivering yachts worldwide, John has also worked in defence publishing and capital equipment sales with small to large ticket leasing within the City of London.
In addition, John set up a City of London based lease finance brokerage, worked for sales agents and large multi-national manufacturers before spending time in sub-Saharan Africa where he facilitated a number of projects, working alongside NGOs, the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank.
Consultancy projects have previously included work with a South Wales based Enterprise Agency, including organisation of events such as ‘meet the buyer.’ More recently, John set up an independent commercial finance brokerage, facilitating asset finance, invoice discounting and company re-structuring amongst others. John has the ability to bring diverse individuals together, acting as a catalyst to facilitate beneficial business outcomes.
Claire Bridge - Consultant/Facilitator
With over 25 years’ experience working in the third sector to improve the lives of those in our communities, Claire has held positions in a wide variety of settings, from front line support at Women’s Aid to community building management and delivery of projects.
Combining her passion for people and societal improvement along with a range of skills gained in leadership, business and training, she has facilitated numerous successful projects. These have included the design and delivery of training, the implementation of monthly craft events and social craft groups including over 100 local community crafters, as well as assisting community venues and voluntary organisations with grant funding applications and community engagement.
With a can do attitude and a positive well-organised approach to all she does, Claire believes this shines through in her work and the difference it makes to others.
Maria Lalić - Mentor
Maria sees mentoring as an opportunity to enable and empower individuals to make decisions and formulate strategies which will move their activities forward in a relevant, authentic and achievable way. By employing active listening techniques and focussed questioning, carried out in a non-judgemental and confidential manner, she creates a safe space where clients can explore possibilities, refine their ideas into plans and establish ways in which they can translate their plans into action. Maria describes her role as guiding people who have too few or too many ideas, helping them map routes to resilient, sustainable destinations and then giving them a gentle nudge to start their journey.
Maria combined a career in NHS Administration with successful self-employment as a Writer, Textile Artist and Tutor. Since leaving the NHS in 2017, she has worked full time as a freelance Creative Practitioner. She is a prize winning, published writer who produces a monthly blog and is currently compiling her third book. Maria’s work as a textile artist has won awards and been exhibited both nationally and internationally. In her role as a Creative Practice Mentor, Maria uses her own experiences to offer support and guidance to artists, makers and writers. They may be mature students, sole traders or simply individuals who want to develop a more professional approach to their craft. She holds an MA in Contemporary Crafts, BA(Hons, 1st Class) [Creative Writing, Welsh] and a B.Ed. Maria is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association.
Alison and the team often work in London as well as throughout the UK and increasingly internationally. The Eclipse Gift Wrapping You Tube channel is popular with subscribers all over the World, especially in North America and India.