About Carolyn and C&C Empathy Training Ltd

Winner of the Open University New Business Award, 2015

C&C Empathy Training (CCET) works with individuals and organisations who want to bring a more empathic approach into their daily practice or workforce and improve experiences and results. The company specialises in health and social care but can work with any organisation to create more bespoke packages to promote and achieve the psychological well-being of all those involved in the communication process.

Carolyn, the director, has a background in psychology, counselling, specialising in loss, bereavement and vulnerability. She conceived the company from her direct experience of the presence and absence of empathy within the NHS complaints and inquest process and the fears (individually and culturally) associated with managing complex emotions within processes. Carolyn is passionate about promoting long term change through multiple development and training solutions, by humanizing the system and empowering staff to support themselves, colleagues, patients and loved ones. The courses and conference subjects are based on real life, recognising the power of empathy, but the difficulties associated with its real life application. Through this honest approach, Carolyn creates the development space for individuals and organisations to engage with and explore emotional data within challenging interactions such as within, complaints, NHS patient safety issues and inquests, to gain valuable insight into the needs of others and prevent further psychological harm from poor communication.

CCET's belief is that whilst empathy is not a magic fix, organisations that empower staff to optimise the basic human attribute of empathy, optimises prevention of further conflict and harm, and optimises the best chance of meaningful outcomes. The LEED Communications Programme ® (Learning Empathy & Emotional Development) is a real and honest approach to development training, taking these skills out of a text book and into real life.

More about Carolyn

Team Member


Carolyn Cleveland

Founder and Managing Director

Qualifications: Cert Counselling, Level 1 & 2 Loss and Bereavement
BSc Hons (Open). Dip Special Ed Needs PTTLS

Carolyn first became aware of the need for empathy and emotional development at 22, when she was needed to care for a young child, whose mother had died. This life changing experience motivated Carolyn to study Counselling and particularly the effect that vulnerability, loss and fear had on individuals.

In 2003 Carolyn personally found herself having to challenge a hospital over serious concerns she had over the death of a child and patient safety. The NHS complaints system became a very unfriendly place to be, and the apathy that she experienced has changed her career path, as she has further trained in communications in health and social care, social policy, psychology, and counselling Fear and sadness. Carolyn has been public speaking since 2006, reaching audiences including government officials, medical and legal professionals, advocates, junior medics, complaints staff and members of the public. The basis of Carolyn's experiences underpin the core of the LEED Communication Programme®. Carolyn has had work and narratives published by the BMJ and the Open University and as part of her work, is writing a book encompassing her experiences.

View Carolyn's profile on LinkedIn
Who Carolyn works with

C&C Empathy Training trains and advises Boards and Leadership Teams, Complaints and Patient Experience Teams, Serious Incident Investigators and front-line staff, in both health and social care and other organisations wishing to bring a more empathic approach into their daily practice or workforce and improve results. Those working with C&C Empathy Training are supported and empowered to promote and consider psychological well-being of all those involved with communication.

Why Carolyn uses her unique approach

Carolyn's concept, is embedded not only an academic background, but in her experiences of the benefits and damage caused by the presence or absence of empathy. She candidly leads through example, unafraid to focus on her own challenges over the years, and drawing on them to give credibility to her training and through sensitivity, humour and thought provoking material encourages those she works with adopt this human focused approach and manage their own well-being..


Carolyn is passionate about promoting long term change through her training and advisory roles. By humanizing systems and empowering staff to support both themselves, colleagues and the service user, through understanding the role that empathy and emotions play in communication. Carolyn supports individuals and organisations to assess their behaviour, culture and results and how empathy and emotional development can be positively imparted in practice and to the benefit of service users. C&C Empathy Trainings' concept and tool kit of an SPC ® (Safeguarded Personal Communication) and SPR ® (Safeguarded Personal Resolution) provide individuals and organisations a focus on understanding and achieving empathic communication.