Stratus Associates specialises in effective personal coaching and group training.

We deliver measurable results for those who invest in developing themselves and their people.


Owner and Principal Consultant

Sonya specialises in Presentation, Public Speaking and Influence.

She holds a C&G Adult Education Teaching Certificate that qualifies her to train within Further Education. In 1997, she was instrumental in setting up the NVQ Cabin Crew programme at South Trafford College and has also lectured in other areas within their Travel & Tourism department. Being a member of the Professional Speaker’s Association for many years, Sonya uses that knowledge to deliver empathetic and encouraging presentation workshops and undertakes public speaking programmes for business groups.

Sonya delivers individual coaching to those who want to be more confident and competent when speaking in public.  These are friendly, practical sessions, bespoke to each client, delivered either at Stratus’ office, online or at the client’s venue. 

She has produced and run multi-cultural courses throughout Europe, delivering to delegates speaking business English. She is also an accredited TOTALSDI® (Strength Deployment Inventory) facilitator helping organisations to look at leadership, teamwork and individual communication styles. Her aviation, banking and retail background make her an ideal facilitator of Interpersonal and Soft Skills. She has delivered to a variety of delegates from senior managers to front line staff.

Sonya uses her hands-on experience of training delivery to help organisations in the design and implementation of customised training solutions for both public and private sectors. She encourages people to communicate more effectively at all levels by listening to what her clients need, so she can discover flexible and innovative solutions that match their expectations. Her facilitation skills reflect reality using a gently humorous and common sense approach with plenty of opportunity for discussion, interaction and accelerated learning experiences.

We are a small, highly experienced and focused team, providing you with excellent value for money.

We have a first class reputation – and our training works!

Delegates can point to a significant improvement in their skills as a result of our courses. In short, we are willing to be worth it!


Claire Margerison

Claire specialises in HR and Performance Management.

She delivers workshops on performance management, communications, recruitment and selection, team leader training, customer service and absence management. She keeps up to date with all changes and developments within the HR and training arena. She has a PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector) certificate and is an accredited SDI facilitator.

Claire has a Business and Finance degree and is a Chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development. She has delivered training at all levels from the front line to senior management, in both the public and private sector. She was specially chosen to design and roll out a bespoke programme for Cheshire East Council to develop performance management which she then cascaded to in house staff for continued internal delivery.

Steve McAllister

Steve specialises in the areas of Training Needs Analysis, Design and Delivery and experiential learning through Outdoor Activity.

He is an experienced training professional whose commercial awareness and approachability make him a superb facilitator at all levels within organisations. He began his training career at Nynex where he was responsible for developing and delivering a range of sales and customer service focussed training solutions. He also managed a large programme roll-out for the launch of Digital TV and managed the sales training function with responsibility for both in-house and external training providers.

He has worked with many clients both in the UK and abroad delivering focussed, high energy training solutions to organisations at all levels. Steve also works with the Princes Trust, Scouts and other groups where he is involved in a number of initiatives to help equip young people with a variety of skills.

Candy Gerrard

Candy specialises in workshops to raise your or your organisation’s profile, such as Tele-sales and Sales, Networking and Customer Care.

She is a highly motivated training consultant who possesses an energetic and enthusiastic training style encouraging people to achieve their maximum potential.

She started her training career with the Handley–Walker Group management consultancy where she was involved in the design and implementation of highly successful Customer Care programmes for clients such as CenterParcs, Silicone Engineering, Twin Valley Homes and ISS Facilities Management. Candy is an accredited SDI facilitator helping people to understand their own motivation and that of others.

Carmel Gardner

Over 20 years experience in Learning and Development, in the UK and abroad has enabled Carmel to focus on her passion for Relationship Intelligence, Leadership and Conflict Resolution.  She has a degree in German and Business studies and speaks fluent German.

She is a Master Core Strengths SDI2.0® facilitator and delivers Leadership, Conflict Handling and Influencing & Development workshops in addition to Relationship Intelligence master classes.  

Carmel has developed and delivered programs on Leadership, Customer Service, Interpersonal Skills, Selling Skills, Complaint Handling and Teambuilding.  She is also an NLP Master Practitioner and qualified Coaching Constellations Coach. 

She has worked with clients in the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors including the NHS, Ealing, and Greenwich Councils, Standard Life and others.

Stephanie Newton

Passionate about helping people live happier, more fulfilling lives, Stephanie is a fully certified wellbeing practitioner in the UK. Applying Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Havening, she facilitates the process of allowing people to make worthwhile changes to their behaviour and thinking, which results in a much more positive, healthier outlook. Through deep healing and self-discovery, Stephanie successfully helps her clients with a variety of issues: anxiety, mild depression, quit smoking, weight loss, public speaking, relationships, confidence, self-esteem and bad habits. Currently, Stephanie is studying an MSc in Psychology with the University of Glasgow. She holds the Level 3 counselling diploma as well as a BA (honours) in Applied English Language and a PGCE in General Primary. Stephanie has appeared on radio to discuss how her therapies have had a positive impact on people’s mental health. She has recently starred in a television documentary to promote Past Life Regression as a holistic therapy.