Chat to other families
Renowned Agony Aunt Deidre Sanders has been giving advice to readers of The Sun newspaper for over 30 years.
Deidre says: "I am delighted to become Patron of Family Lives, a charity long dear to my heart. I regularly refer readers to Parentline and the other support that Family Lives provides. With so many families facing a difficult year ahead, I am sure I will be sending even more their way."
Anastasia de Waal is Director of Family and Education and Deputy Director at Civitas. A social policy analyst, she is a qualified primary school teacher, trained specifically for teaching in the inner city.
Anastasia's particular interest is in the design and implementation of policy which supports parents and families practically, fostering the best life chances for their children. Author of books including Second Thoughts on the Family, she is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media, panellist for The Observer and board member of Women's Parliamentary Radio.
Group Finance Director with quoted company experience. Responsibilities have included finance, risk, compliance, internal audit and IT. Key roles in strategic planning, corporate finance activity, restructuring, change management and investor relations. Strong emphasis on good corporate governance, robust financial control and shareholder value. Finance Director at the Bank of England.
Stuart has for 25 years been a Trustee, seeing the Organisation for Parents under Stress (OPUS) merge, grow and develop into Family Lives. During that time he has had a number of stints as Treasurer and Vice Chairman and filled in as Chair as a result of the indisposition of current Chairs. He has played a role in developing the trading arms of ParentlinePlus and Family Lives.
Previously he spent 10 years leading the youth involvement at regional and national level with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Appeal and Trusts. He was also a founder Director/Trustee of the Youth Enterprise Scheme which evolved into the Prince’s Trust.
Formerly a Director of insurance and investment management companies, he has been for the last 20 years a serial small time entrepreneur in the financial services marketplace, developing new distribution and administration systems for niche activities within the industry. He is also a frequent contributor in the media and appears on news and financial programmes such as Money Box.
Trained as a teacher, is a Relate-trained counsellor, an accredited TripleP (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator, a broadcaster and author of nearly thirty books. She has been a national agony aunt for almost 20 years, now writing for Woman magazine but has written weekly columns in The Times, the Guardian, Woman’s Own magazine and BBC Health Online and was the counsellor seen guiding five families through their family dilemmas on the major BBC1 series, Stepfamilies. Is a trustee of The Who Cares Trust, for “looked after” children. Was one of the founding agony aunts in the Kids In The Middle alliance, lobbying for increased support for children caught up in family breakdown, and edited the KITM website. Has worked for the Family Planning Association, Brook and Parentline Plus.
Makes frequent appearances on national and local television and radio on programmes such as BBC Breakfast, You and Yours and Women’s Hour and is a regular on BBC Scotland and BBC Wales as well as various local BBC and commercial stations, often as a spokesperson for Family Lives. Is a freelance journalist and has written features, mainly on sex, relationship, parenting, health and counselling matters, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers. Has conceived and written leaflets and website material for many organisations including the NSPCC, One Parent Families, the Family Planning Association, ParentingUK and Brook Advisory Centres. She is the agony aunt for The Who Cares? Trust’s two magazines for kids in care and is regularly asked to give expert comment in the national press.
Was previously Vice-Chair of Parentline Plus.
Born near Edinburgh in 1940, he was educated at Lasswade high School and graduated from Edinburgh University with a BSc in Geology in 1961. He worked for eight years in Operations Research in CWS Manchester. He then joined ICL and worked in London and Paris in Sales, Marketing and General Management positions for thirteen years.
In 1982 he joined Dyneer, an American corporation, as their European Marketing manager. In 1986 he was one of the leaders in an MBO of the European operation forming Technitron plc and became a main board member. The board of Technitron agreed the sale of the company to Oki Electric Industry, Tokyo and he joined the board of Oki Europe Limited. He became Chairman and Managing director of the European operation of OKI in 1995 and at the same time a main board member of the Oki Data Corporation in Japan. He retired from OKI in March 2007.
Andrew is married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Organisational development and diversity consultant and trainer, specialising in cultural change, diversity audits, community consultation and focus group research for local authorities, government departments and NHS. Experience of teaching in further and higher education. Senior manager in local government (education). Founded City of London College and a youth club in Shoreditch. Served on school and college governing bodies and on the Boards of Riverside NHS Trust and Kensington Housing Trust. Volunteer worker with refugee families and recently trained to work as volunteer call-taker for Family Lives.
Dr John Coleman is a clinical and developmental psychologist. He was for many years the Director of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA), and since October 2006 he has been a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous books, including “The nature of adolescence” (Routledge, 2011), now in its fourth edition. Together with Dr Ann Hagell he is currently working on a new edition of their book “Adolescence: risk and resilience” first published in 2007. He has been a Senior Policy Advisor in the Department of Health, where he worked on emotional health and well-being in children and young people. He is the Chair of the Association for Young People’s Health and a Trustee of Family Lives. He has a long-standing interest in support for parents of teenagers, and he runs workshops for parents in secondary schools. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to youth justice.
Neena Rupani is currently Head of Regulation for BT’s wholesale division. With a background in Economics, Neena has over 20 years’ experience in the telecoms sector with roles in commercial management, pricing and regulation. Her responsibilities have included regulatory strategy, policy, compliance, governance and risk.
As a parent, Neena feels strongly that having the right support available when you don’t know where to turn can make an enormous difference to families and a child’s future prospects.
Dr Amanda Holt is a Reader in Criminology at the University of Roehampton, London. Her research interests focus on families, young people and harm and her research projects have explored issues concerning parenting support, family conflict, youth justice, prisoners’ families and violence in schools. Her most recent publication is the edited collection ‘Working with Adolescent Violence and Abuse towards Parents: Approaches and Contexts for Intervention’ (Routledge, 2016). She has spoken on national television and radio about the problem of violence towards parents, and has worked with the Home Office in developing a Government response to it. Prior to her research career, Amanda worked with young people as a teacher.