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Two senior police officers who downshifted to smoke salmon now help others to

step off the treadmill…




March 2008



‘Stepping Off’ on the Lakeland fells in Cumbria offers a unique experience for people looking to downshift or change their lives.  Set in a converted Westmorland Bank barn Jo Hampson and Georgina Perkins share their experience of living through a life-change through specially designed weekend programmes.  The pair who gave up their fast-track careers as senior police officers to run their own food smoking business have now created a way of guiding others through the pitfalls of changing a lifestyle.


In 2001 Jo and Georgina downshifted from Thames Valley Police to have a simpler life running their own small business – The Old Smokehouse in Penrith, Cumbria. Arriving at the start of the Foot and Mouth outbreak and knowing very little about the food industry they worked hard to build up the business.  After three years they had more than trebled the turnover and were supplying shops like Fortnum and Mason, Harvey Nichols and smoking privately for the Prince of Wales.


During this time their reputation grew not just for their smoked food but also for their dramatic life change and they found people started contacting them to ask about it.  “At the time we downshifted there was no where to get advice.  People were interested in how we did it, what it felt like, what went wrong, what went right, looking back what would we do differently and so on” says former chief superintendent Jo. “As the idea of changing lifestyles began to become popular we decided to try to help other people on a more formal basis. So we started Stepping Off”.


The aim of Stepping Off is to offer people a relaxing break away from the stress of work and home where they can work through a programme designed to help them focus on their lifestyle, analyse what they want from their future, identify options and build a step by step action plan to achieve it.


Jo and Georgina are both experienced trainers and facilitators and are trained life coaches.  The Stepping Off programmes were designed with the help of a consultant psychologist and their aim is to help people change lifestyle successfully by making really considered decisions about their future. Georgina says, “Our programmes are fun as well as self analytical.  They are thought provoking and really help people look at their lives and make the best decisions.  We also help people think through practical issues like starting your own business.


Stepping Off aims to create an environment where people can reflect on their values and focus on their future.  It offers comfortable residential accommodation in a wonderfully scenic location with good food made using local ingredients.  Vegetarians and vegans are catered for.  The two-day programmes are booked by appointment and are normally run over a weekend.  Programmes can be run for individuals or couples and are occasionally run for groups of up to eight people.


For further information contact Stepping Off on 01931 716638, email or visit   This press release is available at

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