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Nurture ~ Structure ~ Self-Care Take      Parenting 3

I am passionate about parenting and have worked with parents for nearly 20 years. I first got into parenting when I was finding raising two children on my own extremely lonely and challenging: my life began to change after attending a parenting course when they were at primary school, and since then I have tried to get those helpful ideas and strategies out into the community.  In 2000, in my role as Parenting Officer for the Youth Offending Team, I set up the Oxfordshire Parent-Talk programme for parents of at-risk teenagers and I wrote the original Take 3 material to meet the needs of this project.

I managed the project for Oxfordshire County Council for 10 years. My team of 20 or so parenting practitioners and I provided groups and 1-2-1 support for parents of some of the most challenging and vulnerable young people in Oxfordshire.  Before that I had worked in Community Education, running parenting groups for parents of children of all ages.


 I am the main trainer for Take 3 and since the sad demise of Young People in Focus in 2011, I have also managed the publishing and distribution of the Take 3 materials.  I also supervise parenting workers and have a private practice seeing individual parents, in person and on-line.

Many parents attend a Take 3 course and that is enough to enable them to make effective changes. However what currently fascinates me is the challenge of helping those parents who are not able to make changes, who are ‘stuck’, generally because of all the difficult things that have happened to them in their own lives. Using the Take 3 materials to go ‘deeper’ in a 1-2-1 setting can sometimes help, but usually more is needed and to this end I have been studying Systemic Family Constellations and also Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), which has been used to great effect with trauma victims in Africa.

Apart from being a parenting consultant, mother and now a grandmother, I have been a reflexologist, a training officer for the CAB, a china restorer, lived on a small-holding and have a degree in anthropology.  In 1998 I co-edited the book Cross-Cultural Marriage: Identity and Choice.


I have a degree in psychology and was very surprised and really quite shocked when I found that parenting was not the easy and all-round pleasant job I expected it to be!  It was suggested that I attend a parenting course, which I found extremely useful.  I then trained to lead courses, and worked in many primary schools in Oxfordshire.  I met Rosie when I was invited to become involved with parents of the older age group and was introduced to the early, pre-published version of Take 3.

I found the material very informative and highly transferrable, not only to parents but also from them to their families.  I co-led Take 3 courses for several years and found them to be effective for supporting parents from any background.  Later I used the programme extensively, both for groups and in 1-2-1 settings, during my work as Youth Offending Parenting Officer, and then promoted the course within my next role as Parenting Development Officer for North and West Oxfordshire.

Currently I manage the parenting programmes at the Early Intervention Hub in Banbury, where I co-lead the Take 3 course and supervise facilitators.  I am also a National Trainer for other programmes, and I still have one teenager living at home.


I joined a parenting group when my four young children were presenting me with challenges that, as a young parent, I didn’t feel fully equipped to handle.   I immediately found mutual support, and began to evolve effective strategies and to develop a greater understanding of the huge range of issues that affect families. That group experience and my growing understanding of parent-child relationships have continued to help me meet new challenges ever since, in my expanding and ‘blended’ family, which now includes my six grandchildren.  Exploring and identifying effective ways to manage and support change, in my family, personal and professional life, is a fundamental theme for me.

I work as a lecturer, teaching Communication and Counselling skills to adults in Further Education, and as a trainer, training teachers and other trainers. I have delivered a range of parenting programmes (including Take 3) to parents since the mid 1990s, and I am also a qualified and practising counsellor working with children and young people.

I love to ride in the welsh hills around my home, have two and a half horses, two cats and a very busy husband.