The Story behind Up+thrive


Up+thrive empowers leaders, teams and women entrepreneurs looking to thrive outside their comfort zone.

Working collaboratively with my clients I support them to navigate times of change where everyone belongs - but how did I get here?

Growing up with change

From the beginning..

Dealing with change has always been a part of my life. My parents were both teachers and relocated from England to Germany 3 weeks before I was born. My sister joined us 2 years later. When I was 10, we returned to the UK and I found myself having to learn the hard way how to integrate into a totally new environment. 

Study and travel

1990’s

From my Dad, I developed a curiosity about the world around us and chose to study Geography at Loughborough University. My fascination with cultures and adventure travel was fed by summers spent as an International Volunteer in Israel, Zimbabwe and Chile (where I also met my future husband, Richard). After graduating I did an MSc in International Development, and spent 3 months researching my dissertation in the Venezuelan Amazon.

A career in International Development

1998

Once my studies were over, I worked as an International Partnerships Manager for the development charity VSO. Based in London, but travelling every two months to work in countries as diverse as Kazahkstan, Zambia, Guyana and Cambodia, I developed and delivered training programmes to enable volunteers to prepare for change, work as part of an international team, and return happy and well.

Setting up a thriving business

2003

Attracted to the flexibility of running my own business, I worked with a like-minded colleague to set up the learning consultancy thinkingpeople. Over the course of 15 years as well as getting married and starting a family, the business grew and became a leading provider of intercultural training to the UK Higher Education sector. We also worked with private and public sector clients including The Premier League, Viacom, The British Council and the NHS. 

Relocating to Montreal

2015

As our children reached school age, my desire to provide them with a different world view grew. We seized the opportunity to relocate to Montreal for three years, with the added incentive that we could all learn French. During this time, I established “KathrynRelocated” working as a transition coach to inspire, support and connect expat partners to make the most of their overseas experience.  

Up+thrive

2018

2018 was a busy year! Our time in Montreal came to an end and we returned to the UK, but not without a quick diversion to Indonesia to cycle around the islands of Bali and Lombok. It also saw the launch of Up+thrive, which builds on two decades of experience and expertise as an intercultural facilitator, small business owner, and as a coach supporting others to navigate change.