Diane Coolican – Founding Director

My mantra is why bother doing something unless you are going to invest your life and soul into it. I love anything new, challenging, interesting and relevant. I am energised by thinking on my feet and responding to what is going on in the world around me.

An avid reader, a love of live theatre, particularly hardcore stuff like Shakespeare and Chekov, I am also a compulsive “I must get fit soon” and gravitate to the latest fad but rarely for long! In my spare time I like to renovate houses!

I am incredibly nosey and love to get under the skin of businesses, what makes them tick and what stops them ticking even better. I am passionate about developing future female talent with organisations who want to achieve greater gender diversity.


James Farrell - Managing Director

Dad, Grandad, Huddersfield Town fan and keen cyclist. Oh, also Managing Director of Redsky.

LinkedIn would tell you that I am an Enabler of People, Team and Business Performance and whilst all that is true what I am truly interested in is helping people be better. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing individuals and teams flourish and knowing that me or my team have in some way contributed to that!

When it comes to results, the question I find myself asking more than any other is ‘So what?’. Every piece of learning and coaching should add real value to the individual, their team and the business and the learning has to stick. If not then what is the point! By working in partnership I work hard with all our customers to establish the clear outcomes and the ‘so what’ meaning we can then operate in a true partnership to deliver the desired results together.


Sall Smithies - Director

I’ve sometimes been referred to as the Matriarch at Redsky, not only for being the most senior in years but also because I’ve been here since the beginning over 17 years ago.  It’s been an exciting, sometimes challenging journey and I’ve loved every minute working alongside a great team of people who are all equally and genuinely passionate about people development.

In my other life, I’m Mum to 4 amazing individuals whose company I can’t get enough of, and a lazy whippet called Lulu.  I’m a foodie and love cooking and entertaining just as much as eating out.  The rest of the time I’m an avid reader and music lover and visit as many art exhibitions as I can find time for!

I probably drink too much coffee and have promised myself I will rejoin Pilates soon!


Carl Rayner - Executive Coach, Leadership & Management Consultant

I have a mindset of “everyday is a school day” I am constantly looking for new things, what can be improved and what is out there that can help me, my team and my learners be better.

An experienced leader and accomplished coach with substantial experience in people development and a passion for talent development. I have a broad scope of expertise ranging from change programmes to strategic partnering, stakeholder influencing to the design and implementation of frameworks and facilitation of group learning and communication.


Amanda Waterton – Head of Contract Assurance

Some would say that I do all the boring background work on data, reporting, funding and compliance so our fabulous delivery team can get on with looking after our amazing cohorts of apprentices.

I’m passionate about excellent lifelong learning and my job isn’t boring at all because all of that ‘data’ is about real people and their stories.

Let’s just say I am definitely not boring!! I grew up in Spain – it was there that, during a fiesta, I once rode my beloved horse Chili up the steps of a hotel, dismounted, danced a Paso Doble with a friend and then rode Chili back down the steps again to re-join the parade.’


Bridie Sutcliffe – Head of Apprenticeship Operations

I lead the team of tutors and stretch coaches at Redsky to support our learners and customers to ensure that they have the best experience and achieve some amazing results.

I am truly focused on the learners' experience and achievement and through my years of experience I use my creativity, energy, dedication and focus to provide the best training and learning for all my learners.

In my spare time I have a chocolate Labrador who is old now but loves muddy walks creating as much washing as possible!!


Vicky Sellars – Head of Apprenticeship Quality

If I were a stick of rock I’d have ‘passionate about quality and learning’ written straight through the middle. 

My role involves ensuring our learners receive the highest quality learning experience, coupled with the correct support, information, advice and guidance in order that they have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations, whether that be to take on new responsibilities within their current role, progress to the next level, gain promotion or change direction in some other way. 

I’m also passionate about family time, especially when I get the chance to beat them all at crossbow (very smug), by getting the centre and on target, which is how I like to approach my work.


Phil Ahir-Sharp – Learning Programme Coordinator

I’m Phil, father of two young boys, Nikhil and Aaryan and husband to Sangita, who has put up with me for the last 20 years. 

I wish I could tell you that I love to travel, or support my local football team – but, no, my passion outside of work is Video Games!  I have been known to book a day off work to coincide with the release of a highly anticipated game. 

I sit in the Commercial wing of Redsky, working with clients from across the country, and supporting my colleagues to ensure that our programmes are a success. 


Book a Meeting with Us


Book a meeting with us to discuss...

  • How we can help your organisation
  • Answer any questions you may have
  • Get useful, actionable tips & advice

Case Study

Developing a National, 12-month Leadership Development Programme

William Hill have a good track record for developing and promoting from within. And their succession programme for aspiring District Operational Managers was a key part of this strategy.

Read More

Case Study

A Leadership Development Programme for Store Managers

William Hill have a good track record for developing and promoting from within. And their succession programme for aspiring District Operational Managers was a key part of this strategy.

Learn More

Latest from the Blog

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Employee’s Development

Employee development is an important factor in ensuring that your employees stay motivated and passionate about their roles. However, if you have many employees or an increased...
Read More

How To Promote Leadership Within Your Business

Leadership within a business is not just important for those already in management roles. In order to have a constantly evolving and thriving business, you need to promote...
Read More

The Importance Of Networking - Women In Leadership

WHY IS BUILDING YOUR NETWORK IMPORTANT? SITUATION: According to a recent study, published in the journal of Human Relations, ‘women often hesitate to ask for help because they...
Read More