Observing 2 modules of the Bedford Prison Pilot Empowerment programme, and discussing with offenders their new approach to themselves and to life outside, I have absolutely no doubt that these workshops will make a huge difference to the life chances of these individuals when they leave the prison. I have seen a marked change in their thinking and confidence in only a few weeks. This programme has been such a life-changer for them that they want to be part of the next set of workshops to give other offenders the benefit of their learning and experience.

The team has delivered a great gift that will have far-reaching consequences for many years to come.

Deborah InskipTrustee of Bedfordshire Crimebeat and former High Sheriff of Bedfordshire

I have worked with Amanda for over 8 years, both as Consultation Institute Associates. Her skills are considerable, in particular as a trainer and facilitator, designing and delivering specialist courses around community consultation and engagement. She has the ability to communicate at all levels, from elected members, senior managers to community groups and within all sectors. She is highly skilled when dealing with the media in pressured situations. Amanda is an enthusiast with a good sense of humour, a team player, thorough in her planning, a perfectionist and very reliable.

David Jones, DirectorLead Associate in Scotland, The Consultation Institute

I have worked with Amanda for seven weeks in the arena of Life Coaching and Stress Management. Amanda has created a bespoke programme for my company which has been tailored to the individual needs of participating individuals. Not only have her empathy, leadership skills and business acumen lead to the successful implementation of individual return to work plans, but those employees affected have returned stronger and better able to cope in the future. Amanda has ensured that a range of tools are available, often tailored to suit individual needs, which have proved invaluable and in some cases “life changing”. I hope that we are able to retain Amanda’s services in the future.

Anonymous due to client confidentiality

Amanda has successfully introduced clients to innovative learning practices and is, of course an out-and-out expert of aspects of public engagement.

Rhion JonesThe Consultation Institute

AMA Ltd presented an extensive training programme to the Council’s Leadership Group (Directors and Heads of service). Amanda is very calm under pressure and is an excellent motivator. Occasionally, senior officers do not always see the relevance of good planning and preparation for consultation events, therefore Amanda was able to convey why it was important and how proper planning can be beneficial in the long run. Thurrock Council would have no hesitation in recommending Amanda and her team to other authorities.

Leroy RichardsPolicy and Strategy, Chief Executives Delivery Unit

I have worked with Amanda at a local women’s’ network group for the last 2 years. She is professional, polished and enthusiastic about her work. She is clear and positive communicator and I would recommend her as a trainer and coach.

Heather DallasManaging Director, Dallas Development Ltd

Amanda has delivered a vast number of training sessions and workshops within Southend. These include a series of training and awareness raising evening sessions delivered for our elected members and elected representatives from across the Borough. The intention of the development sessions was to raise awareness of the importance of consultation and engagement, its practice in the area and the contribution it can make to the concept of the Big Society. Amanda demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the Big Society; facilitating the sessions well, drawing on her knowledge of Southend and research undertaken on the elected members & representatives before the sessions. This all provided a credible foundation for some challenging evening meetings!! She has developed a strong positive relationship with Southend-On-Sea Borough Council and our partners. It’s this personable approach that makes working with Amanda a pleasure. Across all of the events and training she has demonstrated an ability to organise the assignments to the detailed level required. I am confident that Amanda’s attention to detail leaves nothing to chance and ensures the smooth organisation and running of training programmes.

Suzanne WrightSuzanne Wright – Engagement Advisor – Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Creating a Better Southend

Amanda is an inspirational communicator and a fantastic person to work with. She is high energy and gets amazing results in the face of, sometimes, seemingly impossible tasks. I worked with Amanda on different projects over two or more years and was always struck by her ability to achieve success in difficult circumstances. Whoever uses her excellent skills will have found an exceptional consultant

Lesley CarterPersonal coach

I approached Amanda to assist with the set up and independent facilitation of a community liaison panel to support a high profile, contentious planning application. Amanda was helpful, flexible and supportive throughout the project, ensuring that the panel would work for both the developer and the community.

Adrienne Robins

I worked with Amanda on the regeneration of Woodberry Down, one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects. Amanda led the community consultation team and did this with aplomb. Her dedication, tenacity and cheeriness in the face of some considerable challenges made a major contribution to the project’s overall success and made working alongside Amanda a pleasure.

Matt LallyDirector, Matrix Partnership

What Amanda does not know about public sector consultation and how to go about it in the most appropriate and effective way can be written on a postags stamp! Totally professional, committed and thorough in all aspects, Amanda Murrell Associates has gone from strength to strength despite adverse trading conditions.

Gail Everton MCIMGroup Marketing and Communications Manager, TDG

I’ve known Amanda Murrell for nine years. Initially as a client, when I was struck by her cheerful and positive approach to a very challenging major regeneration project. Subsequently, Amanda set up her own consultancy and also became an Associate of The Consultation Institute, which enabled me to get to know her much better. We’ve worked together delivering training courses and projects and it’s always a pleasure to collaborate with her because I have complete reliance on her and know she will do a first class job. Amanda works extremely hard. On one occasion she was co-delivering a new course and the evening before we heard the lead presenter would be unable to make the course: Amanda stayed up half the night reading up on a topic she was not awfully familiar with in order to train (she got extremely good feedback scores too!) This is just an example of the professionalism she brings to her work and is why we invited her to join the Advisory Board of The Consultation Institute.

Elizabeth GammellThe Consultation Institute

We had run an extensive programme of public opinion surveys about one of our regeneration areas. We planned to follow the consultation with a series of workshops to inform a regeneration vision. The level of interest in attending workshops far exceeded our expectations. We therefore appointed Amanda Murrell Associates to run workshops with the town partnership (a partnership of businesses, land owners and community groups), with residents and with students of the college based in the town centre. We were very pleased with the professional way in which the workshops were carried out and with the quality of the outputs. The first workshop was scheduled to take place within a week of the appointment and we were impressed with the speed with which AMA developed an understanding of the issues and planned the workshop. We received short notice from the college that they had not been able to attract interest from students their students; AMA quickly re-planned these events in the form of Graffiti boards in the college receptions areas and café which generated a great deal of interest and involvement. We were very pleased with the way in which the workshops were run, we have also had positive feedback from participants and a number of people arrived at workshops questioning why they should bother and leaving stating that they were happy that they had attended and been listened too.

Brian PreistleyRegeneration Programme Manager, Thurrock Council

I was very impressed with Amanda’s session – having been a practioner since 1996, it is very obvious when someone is talking from real experience compared to people who know the theory but little else. Amanda knew her stuff and enjoyed her style of presentation.

Marco TorquatiHead of Community Engagement, Housing Renewal

I have worked with AMA Ltd for 8 years and have always found them to be hard working and diligent, with an excellent understanding of communications, engagement and consultation. They offer a safe pair of hands, especially in the context of local authority communications and the broader aspects of change management in the public sector. Amanda and her team have extensive experience of advising senior staff on communications issues, especially in regard to engagement and more formal consultation campaigns. When working on behalf of Participate the team have been; highly motivated, willing to do more than is asked of them; an ally in difficult situations; able to manage issues in a calm and tactical manner. Amanda has the ability to engage with stakeholders using varied communications channels. She is an expert face-to-face facilitator but also knows how to orchestrate stakeholder dialogues using social media channels.

Jonathan BradleyDirector, Participate

I received Patient Engagement Leadership Training from Amanda in July 2013, and I have to say I thought the training was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I shall be pleased when the training is rolled out to my fellow PPG Members.

Rosemary PorterChair of the Patient Participation Group, Southwark