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Family Links' 25th Anniversary

2022 marks the 25th year since we were established to encourage and teach nurturing and relationship skills through schools, families and the wider community.

Follow this page throughout the year to see how we celebrate this milestone.




On 24th February we launched our first Emotional Health Awareness day to coincide with the date of our anniversary.  Through a social media and email campaign we encouraged everyone to think about their own emotional health and how they can support and develop it in others, whether in their family, in school or in their workplace.

We also welcomed two of the Family Links founders (Annette Mountford and Rosalind Portman) and our Chair of Trustees (Hilary Emery) into the office for a celebration tea break with cake.

4 Constructs

The 4 Constructs or Building Blocks of the Nurturing Programme

To recognise the foundations of our work, each quarter this year, we will showcase one of the 4 Constructs or Building Blocks of the Nurturing Programme, which underpins all that we do - Self-Awareness, Appropriate Expectations, Positive Discipline and Empathy. These will feature on our website, in newsletters and on social media.

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Self-awareness is a crucial building block for positive, constructive relationships and confident parenting. But what do we actually mean by self-awareness? 

Find out more and watch a little video clip.

Appropriate Expectations

If we expect too little or too much from the people around us - whether it’s adults or children - it is likely to cause problems and can lead to potentially difficult feelings.

This is also the case with the expectations we have of ourselves – the more appropriate they are, then the more likely we are to have a healthy sense of our own value and worth.

Have a look at this video, which includes some dads talking about appropriate expectations.

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Empathy means tuning in to someone else’s feelings, understanding their emotional point of view.  We don’t have to agree with what the other person thinks – just to be sensitive to the way they feel, and to accept it. We helped Teach First to create a short video on 'Empathy Based Classrooms'. Find out more and watch the video.

Positive Discipline

Positive discipline focuses on praise, choices and building responsibility. As a consistent approach it helps children and young people to build awareness of what is appropriate behaviour, to experience the consequences of their actions, and to develop a sense of competence. It builds the relationships between adults and children and allows adults to model holding boundaries clearly and kindly whilst also supporting self-regulation.

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25th Anniversary Conference

Building the Capabilities of Adults in Children’s Lives

Our national conference took place on 28th April at the Wellcome Collection near Euston in London.  We were thrilled to see so many friends and colleagues in-person on the day and were pleased that so many could join us online too. 


Our Patron, TV and radio presenter, Alexander Armstrong joined us to interview Dr Alenka Miles about her use of the Nurturing Programme in her work on the frontline of the NHS

Prof Eamon McCrory (Co-Director of the Developmental Risk & Resilience Unit at UCL) presented on the neuroscience of childhood trauma. (Watch his presentation:

Sally Hogg (Head of Policy and Campaigning at the Parent Infant Foundation) spoke about the importance of the earliest relationships.​ (Watch her presentation:

Ed Vainker (CEO of the Reach Foundation) talked about the cradle to career model at Reach Academy.

Dr Hilary Emery (Honorary Norham Fellow at Oxford University and Family Links Chair of Trustees) chaired a discussion on Education and Emotional Health.

Dr John Coleman (Former Director at the Trust for the Study of Adolescence) explored what teenagers need from the adults in their lives.


BBC Oxford Radio interview

Sarah Darton, former Family Links CEO, gave an interview with Adam Ball at BBC Radio Oxford to talk about our 25th anniversary, our work, emotional health and the effect of the pandemic on parents and children. 

Listen to it below.

00:00 / 07:42

Walk through the Chiltern Hills

In October, members of the Family Links team (Anna, Anne, Bea & Kitty) took part in a hike around the Chiltern Hills to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  Winding through paths, fields and woodland they collectively walked 25 km.

It was lovely autumn day, photos from their hike are below.

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