Mid Year Highlights 2021

Featuring news (in sequence) from El Salvador, the UK and the USA.


Writing projects in 2021

The work that GULL has been doing for a number of years in collaboration with public universities in South Africa features in a new book: Community-based research with vulnerable populations: sustainable, ethical and inclusive frameworks for knowledge generation, edited by Professor Lesley Wood. The book will be published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2021 and Richard Teare’s GULL chapter is entitled: Towards holistic and community-led development: The GULL system for self-directed lifelong action learning. As the pandemic has prevented travel since March 2020, we hope to resume this work in 2022.

Richard has also contributed to a book entitled Engagement matters: curriculum challenges for universities by Professors James Nyland and David Davies (The book cover is shown to the right). It explores various dimensions of learning in higher education and points to a wider, contested curriculum which the book argues has yet to engage with some of the major issues of our time such as the scale of exclusion from formal opportunities for learning.


GULL has valuable experience in both community based research and community engagement and inclusion and so it is encouraging to be able to contribute to scholarship in these areas.




World Vision El Salvador
27 March 2021

GULL representative Patricia Hartasanchez has been working with four members of the leadership team at World Vision El Salvador (WVES) for a number of years and in March, 2021 the group completed their individual GULL pathway projects.

Felix Alfredo Rodas examined ways of supporting WVES staff and their families during a period of institutional change; Pedro Francisco Moran Zamora examined the problem of domestic violence, its impact on children and ways in which WVES can respond; Esdras Enoc Martinez Orellana investigated aspects of peacebuilding and Laura Cristina Del Valle, WVES national director, focused on organizational development and is now establishing a GULL network for marginalized youth.


(Above left) The WVES with GULL team supported by Patricia Hartasanchez

(Above right) Patricia is pictured on the far right of the photograph.





As one response among others to the pandemic, Donald McCombie, Lifelong Learning Co ordinator, (Birmingham Branch) for the UK’s largest trades union ‘UNISON’ worked with Richard Teare in 2020 to design a GULL pathway for branch members. As restrictions meant that participants couldn’t meet, we used the GULL reflection tools to focus on personal development and wellbeing. The sixteen week programme blended a person centred approach with action learning and mentor support.


(Above left) Richard Teare presents Donald McCombie, with a book about GULL’s work

(Above right) The front cover of Donald’s recent booklet ‘For the Love of Learning’





The UNISON with GULL personal development and wellbeing pathway enabled participants to work with a mentor on issues of personal significance. Here are two examples.

Charlotte Evans (below left) said: I have got into a good routine of writing in my daily journal every day. I find the process really cathartic and when I look back at my early entries I feel like I have made a lot of progress with positive thinking. In general, I feel a lot more confident in dealing with stressful situations both at work and outside work.

Gaynor Pugh (below right) said: During the pandemic I worked from home for Birmingham City Council creating content to support the Library Services online offer. I was shielding due to a health condition and so my life was very restricted. I saw the UNISON with GULL pathway as an opportunity to develop new skills and to set myself a personal challenge. As my work involves computers, I decided to focus on creative arts and among others, I designed and made framed prints (pictured right behind Gaynor). This process enabled me to gain confidence and develop self taught skills and knowledge outside of a classroom environment.




Eurest with GULL since 2008

Since 1996, Eurest has provided dining services to local, regional and national companies across the United States. Services include operating employee dining centres, on site catering, executive dining rooms, and other managed services. Eurest serves companies in every business and industry setting including many of the Fortune 100, financial institutions, technology, oil and gas, healthcare, and airport lounges. The Eurest Eastern Division led by Mark H Maloney, Divisional President has been working with GULL since 2008 and in recent years, the GULL pathway has been managed by Brian Gottlob and Mary Beth Toewe. In 2021, the initiative included for the first time, the Eurest National Accounts division, with program management provided by Kelly Pope, Eurest Onboarding Coordinator with support from the Eurest Senior Vice President of Customer Experience.

Our annual celebration events feature project presentations where delegates typically say that they have become more self confident and self aware, that they are better organized and better able to manage their time. In 2021, we held five online events to celebrate with 40 delegates and their mentors and managers.


(Above) Mark H Maloney (centre) with Eurest team members.




Eurest with GULL 2021

Each of the five events followed a standard template beginning with inputs on safety, diversity and from the division leader followed by a GULL overview, individual project highlights, certificate presentations and closing remarks from the regional leader. Most of the delegates have had limited prior educational opportunity and the aim of the program is enable them to develop and utilize their potential in an enhanced job role. Given this, confidence building is key.


Each of the 40 delegates gave concise, engaging presentations about aspects of their personal, professional and technical development. As the process is self directed, it is relatively easy to provide evidence and examples of enhanced personal confidence as noted in these slides.




Eurest with GULL 2021

The slide below is indicative of the personal outcomes arising from the program: When I was nominated to participate in the GULL program, I was afraid and insecure. After completing it, I feel more confident. I want to continue growing. For me, GULL means - Growth moving forwards; Unbeatable I know myself better; Learn not once but on going; Leadership I can help and guide my team mates.


(Above right) GULL would like to thank the delegates, mentors, managers and Eurest leaders for sustaining the program during the pandemic. In particular, our thanks to Mark, Brian, Mary Beth, Kelly and Mike for organizing and facilitating the best possible online celebrations of self directed workplace learning.



GULL is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered in California, USA. GULL’s mandate to confer professional awards is based on a statement of recognition offered in perpetuity and signed by the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 10 April 2007. GULL is also endorsed by other Governments, Leaders and Institutions.

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