Biography of Oasis
Just as a person has their own unique story which shapes, informs and defines their life, so too does an organisation.
In tracking changes within Oasis we have identified the following significant people and events.
To find out more about the people that shaped our thinking, practices and world view, go to Influences.
The Oasis School of Human Relations has focused on organic growth since its origins as Oasis Communications and Consultancy in 1980.
“Oasis: a fertile spot in the desert.”
From the start those involved have endeavoured to create a human relations organisation that reflects the values of openness and shared accountability out of which we work, and which gives expression to the kind of relationships to which we aspire in our work together.
Oasis began by offering communications skills, which at that time was a radical departure from what was being provided to employees and individual practitioners by mainstream training.
This sense of seeking the radical, exploring the threshold and working beyond convention has been an impulse with those who work within Oasis and those who call for our services and approach.
Bryce Taylor came up with the name ‘Oasis’. Bryce was a radical educator who decided to leave his career in FE to establish ways of working that proved to be at the leading edge of relationship and helping approaches.
- The first public Full Circle is launched in Scotland.
- Springboard Project launched for family business, building on our career review and one-to-one development services.
- Collaborative inquiry into creativity launched with family business.
- The first in the Oasis Elements series of manuals is published – The Seven Stage Model – an accessible, practical guide to one of the frameworks used in Oasis.
- Oasis non-executive director Chris Neligan publishes her first book, Life is But a Dream, about the death of her daughter Abigail and the effect on her whole family.
- Rio+20: UN Earth Summit. Oasis is represented by Chris Taylor and Claire Maxwell as they deliver a report and video supported by Oasis creating a vision of management education for the world. Chris was part of the working group that created the final version of the report.
- Second annual Collaborative Leaders Retreat is held with leaders from across the UK.
- Oasis launches a 12-month inquiry into Whole Person Learning in Practice.
- Oasis creates its first MBA partnership with leading international faculty developing engineers, Northern Institute of Technology, Germany, to design and deliver ‘From Corporate Responsibility to Globally Responsible Leadership’ from a Whole Person Learning perspective.
- Claire Maxwell, a consultant and facilitator, with a leading role in developing human relations in social care, criminal justice and effective leadership, becomes a company director. Her connection with Oasis spans over 10 years.
- Oasis offers first one-year secondment – Zena Bernacca is appointed interim CED for Hospice Africa Uganda. Seeded through a 10-year role with The Oasis Foundation developing social justice initiatives in Africa. The Foundation has also delivered programmes for Hospice Africa. Zena later steps down as co-director to continue her work in Uganda.
- Following a five-year inquiry, Oasis offers first Developing Collaborative Leadership Retreat for CEOs, Directors and Oasis Change Agents.
- Claire Maxwell is appointed Chair of RSA North East, developing collaboration, social enterprise and catalysing change.
- Oasis engages with a coalition of UK and US Foundations to support sustainable impact on immigration attitudes in the UK.
- The Core Associate Group expands to include Charles Greenwood, Chris Taylor, Heather Barker and Carole-Ann Jones.
- First meeting of South West Associate Group.
- Nick Ellerby is appointed special advisor to Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative.
- Co-founder and co-director Bryce Taylor dies, leaving a deep legacy of writing, inspiration and new initiatives, which continues to be developed and evolved.
- Self and Peer Assessment initiative is launched prototyping applied frameworks within a range of sectors including business, community psychology, criminal justice and independent practice (coaching and consultancy).
- Significant growth in programmes, whole organisational development and team consultancy leads to formation of core associate group – Jane Senior, Glyn Fussell, Sharon Warwick and John Gray.
- The Oasis Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary.
- The Oasis Centre is refurbished offering an informal, comfortable and independent learning facility for clients and community in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.
- Oasis is invited to facilitate a Collaborative Inquiry into Globally Responsible Practice in manufacturing and retail setting.
- Workplace of Tomorrow Initiative is supported by a wide range of contributors in the UK and internationally, with the impact continuing.
- Rose Diamond becomes the first Oasis international intern.
- Claire Maxwell is appointed associate director, leading on criminal justice projects.
- One-to-one executive development is launched. Executive Developers group attracts CEOs, senior executives and change agents all committed to human relations and a Whole Person Learning approach for assisting key decision makers to be more effective and bring more of themselves to their work and life.
- Chris Neligan becomes first non-executive director.
- Associate forum is established to grow and develop the influence, practice and offering of Oasis within the UK and beyond.
- Oasis invited to facilitate Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, working in India, China, USA, Canada, France, Brazil and UK.
- Learning for Tomorrow is published – an internationally supported and acclaimed publication introducing the theory and practice of Whole Person Learning.
- Oasis launches one-year UK Leadership Collaborative Inquiry with a focus on Collaborative Leadership.
- Formation of Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) with Oasis as a founding partner organisation of an international network committed to developing the next generation of globally responsible leaders.
- Oasis Peoplecare is created from the success of Total Staff Care.
- Lise Ribeiro becomes the sixth Director.
- Company registration as a non-profit organisation, letting go of the shareholding approach. Directors give up their formal ownership of Oasis.
- Oasis Practitioner Community launches, bringing together over 50 practitioners across the UK and establishing self and peer assessment processes.
- Chris Neligan becomes the fifth Director.
- Oasis Development Education Foundation is registered as a charity.
- Oasis, in partnership with Mario van Boeschoten, launches a two-year People and Organisational Change Strategies programme which consolidates and establishes our organisational development approach.
- Marion Ragaliauskas becomes the fourth Director.
- Oasis launches the human relations approach.
- Oasis moves to Boston Spa premises and whole organisational development begins.
- Zena Bernacca becomes the third Director, bringing management experience from the NHS and financial expertise.
- Bryce Taylor and Nick Ellerby are the Founding Directors.
- Oasis is registered as a formal share-based company.
- Zena Bernacca manages the Facing Aids programme and extends Oasis’ capability as a consultancy and research resource for health service professionals.
- Marion Ragaliauskas joins Oasis, developing publications.
- Nick and Bryce form an informal partnership. Nick brings extensive entrepreneurial experience in the public purpose sector from establishing Diplomas at the University of Humberside; founding and directing a regional social change and human service organisation and working nationally as an advisor and contributor in educational and management settings.
- Bryce publishes Working with Others – one of the most successful counselling publications in the UK.
- Oasis develops and expands provision of counselling services to individuals and staff in organisations, which becomes the Total Staff Care service.
- Oasis moves from York to Beechwood Conference Centre, Leeds.
- The experiment becomes more substantial. Members of the Oasis Development Group are offered the opportunity to build a new experimental enterprise designed and run collaboratively as peers. Services include team development, training trainers, communications skills development and counselling.
- The experiment begins – the call to create a ‘peer-based’ entity is launched by Bryce Taylor – inviting Nick Ellerby and a further 21 people to explore possiblities.
- Nick Ellerby is appointed Chair of the Regional Health Authority Training Group and is managing commissioning for Oasis programmes. Oasis is commissioned by the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority to provide HIV training, from awareness raising events to multi-agency programmes, ultimately assisting in the development of over 750 practitioners. This provides a springboard to develop a strong group of facilitators connected to Oasis.
- Bryce Taylor recruits the first Oasis Advanced Diploma programme in The Practice of Counselling and the Management of Change (PCMC). An innovative two-year programme applying individual development and counselling approaches to a wider range of occupational settings and roles, integrating theory, practice, skills and experience.
- Nick Ellerby co-designs and co-facilitates first two-year programme at Hull University into Individual Relationships and Group Development.
- Nick Ellerby founds Personal and Professional Development Consultancy (PPDC) and the Independent Counselling Network (ICN) – providing organisation-to-organisation services for education, business and third sectors in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and the impulse for Oasis one-to-one services.
- Oasis helps pilot the first nationally recognised qualification in counselling skills – the RSA certificate. Bryce Taylor is a member of the national committee assisting in the scheme’s design and later becomes its chief assessor and national verifier.
- Oasis moves to premises in York, offering personal development workshops and short courses. Commitment from the outset to a broad-based humanistic approach and self and peer assessment methods.
- Oasis begins working in the field of human relations providing freelance training and consultancy support to organisations largely in the public sphere – education, social and health care.