Carol Coombes – A Celebration of Life


It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart, I have to report the passing of Carol Coombes. Carol was awarded an O.B.E, and an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University, for her outstanding achievements in business, and her tireless, compassionate, services to the voluntary sector in Birmingham. But this is only a fraction of what she did to inspire, and make everyone fall in love with her. 

Carol and I worked on some pieces for Pf Magazine, from the very first day she connected with me on LinkedIn, I knew she was the kind of person I had never met before, and am very unlikely to meet again. Once diagnosed with throat cancer, Carol took things head-on, like everything else in her life she gave it 100% of her time and energy. Carol wanted to make a difference, she tried many unconventional treatments, with the support of her close family and friends. 

It is evident among the many social media groups she ran, the way in which Carol touched peoples’ lives, people she had yet to meet.

carol screen 3carol screen 2Carol screen 1

I know Carol won’t mind me saying, but sometimes I didn’t have a clue what she wanted me to do. Several What’s App messages later, and one lengthy 3-hour phone call, and to be completely honest I was still none the wiser. None the wiser how to execute, and communicate the passion with which Carol spoke. Her head was bursting with ideas, nothing was just about her, she wanted to use herself as a human guinea pig through her cancer to help other people. 

Carol was entertaining, this powerful woman with her cute Brummie accent made my sides ache with laughter. I never met her. I didn’t need to. I was a sounding board, someone Carol said she could offload to, and meeting would spoil everything, it would make me real and she wouldn’t be able to share her feelings with me. 

When Carol found it difficult to communicate her thoughts, she was frustrated. She had been this extremely articulate and well-respected person people had listened to, and hung on to her every word. But you can’t keep a good woman down, she didn’t let any of that stand in her way, she kept on talking, and talking, and campaigning. She was going to be heard even if it took longer to get the message across. 

Carol left us surrounded by the people who meant the most to her. And boy, her passion for her family knew no bounds. Many calls were interrupted by the arrival of her ‘grandkids’, down the phone line, at opposite ends of the country I could not only hear, but I could feel how she lit up when they entered the room. Leaving her family was going to be the hardest thing she had ever done, selfless to the end, her thoughts were for those she was going to be leaving behind. 

Those who knew Carol will know what I mean when I say she was as zen as f*ck. Rest in Peace lovely lady, gone but never forgotten. 


A service will be held at Sandwell Crematorium on Wednesday 21st August at 3.15pm. Please spread the word as everyone who knew Carol is welcome; dress in whatever you feel comfortable in.  After the service, there will be a wake at the Wagon and Horses from about 4.30 until 8pm.

Carol Coombes

A Personal Message



A Personal Message From Carol Coombes O.B.E ~ Active Wellness


Following on from our last piece about Carol Coombes O.B.E and Cracking Wellness (Read Here) we are delighted to share this personal message she has written for all her supporters and friends.


“Last long post re ‘Wellness’ stuff: As ever, I’d commit fully or give it a swerve if I were you..

This is (hopefully) my last long post on this, for a great reason: Cracking Wellness has got to an exciting stage, and I’m handing it over, delightedly, to The Active Wellbeing Society as of now. They’re the organisation I most trust in the world with this. They’ll guarantee it stays for the widest public benefit rather than private gain, as our data is such a huge resource, and we should all benefit from it.

They’re going to need a few weeks to pull together all the various bits, to use everything done so far in the best way, and in the Autumn they’ll launch the next phase, which might be as I pictured, it might be better, but it definitely won’t be worse. They’re great communicators: as soon as the next bit is ready you’ll know, I’m delighted with this.

I’ve taken it from an idea, to landing it with the ideal people/ place for it to thrive, which is what I do best. I’m rubbish at the rest, so I’m off this as of now, as planned. But a week early, due to MRI results.

Pf Magazine, you lot are bloody brilliant. You’ve helped turn an untested idea into a great and dynamic ‘Wellness’ movement that will make a real difference (* an idea based on a hope to slow down the growth from where we are now, of 1 in 2 having cancer; from the dawning that we don’t have as much information as we need; what we do have is either not used well, or is based on information that gives only a limited picture, as we’re not asking all the right questions).

Our poor bloody NHS. Dealing with 1 in 2 having cancer alone, forgetting every other need (which we can’t) Hands tied, bank accounts frozen, and blindfolded. Screw that. 1 in 2 will get cancer. (Source: Cancer Research UK) Let that sink in, for a sec. 1 in 2. I’m pretty much in the majority. And if I’m not now, I soon will be. And it’s rough here. I’m used to being in a Minority and having it rough. The majority shouldn’t have it rough. That’s not the sign of something going well. We could do so much better for everyone.

Reading the cancer sites makes me weep, with the intelligence there that’s not used and the same frustrations raised everywhere. . It’s the same everywhere. In every health conversation, wellness, housing, education.. the experts are those living it, not those managing it, often. We have amazing resources available in this day and age. The cleverest brains in the world can now talk to each other easily. We have an economy that really needs us all to be well. And we all have experiences to share.

I was a strengths-based coach in my last role. My brain automatically sees the good stuff that can happen.. here, that’s learning about and sharing what’s good, and heading towards great, NOT just measuring illness/what goes wrong, as we do now. Once the idea was there, we needed a great mechanism for that. And we’ve done it. We’ve created one that’s really going to make a difference, with the organisation that is known globally for punching above their weight, and who are known for leading with the NEXT thing, not the best thing, in Wellbeing. They’re world leaders, they’re from Brum, and they make it easy for us, to help us to make informed Wellbeing decisions ourselves, and participate equally. I’m beyond buzzing to have landed it there. . Seriously. Watch their space. They’re ace.

In other news: We’re all well and happy, hope you are. ‘My’ youngest baby just flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter. Life is good and nuts, as ever I’ve got my results in a few hours, and whatever they are I’m signing off Cracking Wellness now as importantly, I’ve signed off posting my health stuff on here. (There is a God, I hear you say) I’ll still be on here, and in dyingtoknow about cancer and wellness, and Banned Aid: weed the world groups when online (the kids, inc sons in law, Mal or my other closest, will kill me before anything else does, if I don’t keep up with what you’re all up to: I’d be vile )

My worlds got a bit small lately, and I’m mental, so I don’t know how they’ve coped so beautifully, with laughter, as they do. Cheers, Tribe xxx

So: I’ve never minded having uncomfortable, taboo conversations..death, illness, wellness, your Nan..whatever.. bring them on: now Cracking Wellness has landed, I’ll be posting personal updates in the dyingtoknow about cancer and wellness group only, not here. That’s the place. We all do it there, and it’s great. I’m older than Santa, and personal stuff is personal (and boring as hell to those who’re not interested ) If you want the updates, please join there, as normal service resumes again here, as of NOW.

I can’t tag all of you who’ve helped get Cracking Wellness to here. I’m Mental, Menopausal and Highly Medicated, and I’m scared I’ll miss one of you. Those of you who’ve added to energy levels, shared wellness tips, sent love, been on walks, shared the info, invited others to join in, etc etc.. you know, I hope, you’re well loved for it. Please tag yourselves, and Big Up yourselves, as my Beautiful Man would say . Really, tag yourselves, and take your bloody credit. (‘don’t be so’re not that great’ ) Now tag. I’ll be grateful.

We’re celebrating. We’ve done it. We bloody rock. I’m having a break from here for a few days and will be on here way less from now on anyway. I bloody love info (and being told it well, and clearly) and I know we will be, from the MRI, later. . We’re excited, nervous, ready to know stuff, and get our heads around it all as a family. The next Mischief For The Masses will no doubt appear soon at ( and anyone else who fancies it) Facebook page. Add any mischief you like, I’ll see it when I get there Big love Xx”

Carol Coombes O.B.E


A Message From The Editor

Sending you lots of love today Carol, to you and your family. We are so excited that you have pulled this off, and proud to have played any small part in helping you in your quest. Thank you for trusting us with your baby. All our thoughts and prayers are with you.





Carol Coombes O.B.E ~ Cracking Wellness


Carol Coombes was awarded an O.B.E, and an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University, for her outstanding achievements in business and her tireless, compassionate, services to the voluntary sector in Birmingham.

We are supporting Carol, and many others, by sharing her stories. This is what she has to say about changing views on health, by looking at ‘wellness’ rather than ‘illness’.

Cracking Wellness

We’re gaining mass and notable support for Cracking Wellness: Please join, and spread the word?

This is a community owned initiative to find out more than we ever have about the human body, wellness, and illnesses including the biggest risk to Public Health for this generation: Cancer. I know we’ve all been affected by cancer, and we need to protect our kids. We’re gathering great notable people together to support this. We’re aiming to hugely enhance the impact and benefits of Public Health whilst reducing pressure on health providers.

Currently, all of us across the world only interact with health care systems at the point of illness. Only managing illness is measured, nothing about wellness as a standard. Myself, and a growing number of others are advocating Cracking Wellness () the intelligent use of current data and collation of wellness data. So much data is collected now, none of it used for public benefit, while incidences of chronic health conditions are continuing to soar, and the most vulnerable being rendered even more so.

This approach, looking toward what sustains and strengthens us would reduce pressure on health providers, equip us to Become Our Own Experts, and much more. We’re just bringing people to the notion of looking for the good, and it’s evolving as we go.

Because of my position, I’m working to get others to pick it up and develop it fully. It’s the first time apparently anyone’s thought of gathering wellness data – or using ours intelligently – so we’re having input from across the world, excitingly, as people start to get excited about the information this approach could bring. It’s not a service, based anywhere, it’s for something similar in nature to the NHS, but supporting wellness, not managing illness, to find new info about the body, and reduce pressure on our healthcare systems everywhere.

There’s a bit of early context here, though the situation has evolved somewhat.

I’ve recently had the only blood tests I’ve had in the 15 months. Despite being c 9 months past a potential sell-by date, the tests showed nothing untoward. We know very little about cancer. This would tell us about how our bodies manage all types of illness.

Ignoring all other illnesses, which we can’t, Cancer’s 1 in 2 minimum, current treatments are damaging. No kind approaches to the body are being assessed. Your influence could really help to change that, especially for under 16s, who have no choice of treatment.

Lots of great people, scientists, app developers, techies, are gathering to support this. We’d be really grateful if you would.

Carol Coombes O.B.E