meet the team

Shirley Gaston!

Shirley is passionate about making learning engaging, exciting and lasting!

Forget dull, repetitive sessions! Shirley has worked in training and education for over 20 years and still loves finding creative interactive – and memorable! – solutions to an organisation’s needs. Flexible, open and caring, she works hard to ensure every programme makes a real and lasting difference both to the people on it and ultimately to their business. Asked to describe her style, the words most often used by participants are ‘professional’, ‘friendly’, ‘approachable’, ‘motivating’ and ‘inspiring’.

Shirley has a first class degree in Education as well as a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Professional Training and Development. She also holds many psychometric qualifications and is a fellow of ITOL (Institute of Training and Occupational Learning). She is also the host of the Yorkshire Training Journal on-line network, organising non-profit professional development and networking events for all learning and development professionals in the region.

To receive quarterly invitations to the network, please send an e-mail to or if you would like to see Shirley in action click here.

Shirley runs our in-house management development programme from September 2013. Right from the start she took the time to understand our business and the needs of our people. She listened to the challenges we faced as a business and the goals and aspirations of the people that were earmarked to attend. Shirley has a lovely warm delivery style and she challenges individuals to help them reach their full potential. I would highly recommend Azesta to fulfil any learning & development needs.

Vanessa Naldrett, Head of Learning, Summit

Leeds Fed have worked with Shirley Gaston at Azesta for the last 4 years on a number of programmes. Our intention has been to help Leeds Feds leadership team understand themselves and each other better and in so doing explore ways to become a more effective team. Shirley’s informal style has suited us well, yet at the same time she has a knack of getting to the nub of the issue at hand. Our group discussions, with Shirley in a facilitative role, have always been particularly open and productive. I doubt we would have become the team we are today without her help.

Matthew Walker, CEO, Leeds Federated Housing Association

Shirley has put together a tailored leadership programme for our management team that is constantly reviewed and adapted. This is not just another "training course" but a really effective development programme that is delivering real benefits to the participants and to the bottom line of the business.

Neil Partlett

former CEO, BNL

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