Helen Caton Hughes

Helen Caton Hughes MA, DipM, MCIM, PCC, Chartered Marketer

Helen is a Company CEO and founder of the Forton Group of companies, which provide organisation development training, coaching and leadership consulting services to major organisations such as the NHS, Network Rail and British Telecom.

A qualified marketing consultant, holding ‘Chartered Marketer’ status, Helen also holds an International Coach Federation professional accreditation (ACC) and is a qualified leadership coach.  A strategic planner, Helen has a track record in using her marketing and project management skills to develop partnerships and cross-sector thinking.

Helen’s career includes government and international corporations, including the UK Department for Social Security and Citicorp Insurance Brokers (UK).  Responsibilities at the latter included facilities and purchasing management; including telecoms equipment at a time of increasing technological change, company car fleet leasing and purchasing; and professional services and office furniture purchasing linked to major building refurbishments and rapid expansion.

Helen supported the growth of the UN-ED ‘Health and Environment Round Table’ in the UK, bringing together key influencers from across the health, local authority and environmental sectors.  She also produced the initial report behind the ‘Buy Recycled’ campaign, since taken up by major organisations such as Sainsbury’s and Plysu.

Helen’s clients are typically CEOs and Board Directors, graduates and high potential individuals from the range of public, private and charitable sectors.

Since 1987, Helen has worked with a number of law firms, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and legal teams inside major organisations, supporting marketing and new business development opportunities, as well as providing executive coaching for lawyers, barristers and solicitors and company secretaries.  Helen also provides team building events for legal teams to support more effective cross-team working.

What interests Helen is the difference between what it takes to be a senior leader, and the support and development needed to be successful at that level.  Helen has trained experts in process improvement and change management fields (such as Black Belt 6sigma champions) in facilitation, leadership, communications and coaching skills.  Helen is also a trainer of other trainers, coaches and is a coaching supervisor.  

Qualifications and Training:

  • BA (Hons) 2.1 and MA from Bristol University
  • Diploma in Marketing (and Chartered Marketer status) with the Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • ICF Member with a Diploma in Performance Coaching (Newcastle College) and Certified Leadership Coach (Co-Creative Alliance); NLP and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy
  • Health and Safety Certificate (CIEH), Fire Marshal Training (Manchester Fire Brigade).
  • Various business management and leadership courses including procurement and negotiations (IPS)
  • Licenced to give feedback on a number of leadership 360 and self-assessment tools

Key Areas of Expertise

  • Leadership, Performance and Careers Coaching, Mentoring & Coach supervision
  • Facilitating Groups – including strategic planning for Boards, project planning and team building events
  • Strategic Marketing and Communications
  • Business Planning, Organisation Development and Change Management
  • Training and Training Design including: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Motivational Training; Professional leadership coach training; Advanced writing and presentation skills
  • Event Management, notably event PR and Health and Safety

Memberships, Committees and Volunteering

Helen is a Co-Chair of the International Coach Federation Global Conference Steering Committee, for the 2012 ICF Global Conference.  She volunteers for the UK Women in Logistics Mentoring Programme and for the Prem Rawat Foundation, a humanitarian organisation promoting personal peace and helping people most in need around the world with the basic needs of nutritious food and clean water.

Helen is a public speaker on a range of topics including women in management, transformational leadership, team building and emotional intelligence.


Helen has written a number of research papers and journal articles; her first book (‘The Fertility Plan’) has been translated and sold 60,000 copies into European, US and Australian markets.  A recent report ‘More than Good Intentions’ was used in the launch month of ‘year of the volunteer’ (2005), by the National Association of Hospital and Community Friends.  Current research includes a national study into volunteering by young people in health contexts.