Our president and trustees

Picture of Deidre Sanders Family Lives president

President - Deidre Sanders

Deidre Sanders is resident agony aunt on ITV’s daily This Morning programme and edited the daily Dear Deidre problem-page in The Sun from 1980 – 2020. Deidre trained in counselling and, with the help of her counselling team, answered every reader’s problem personally - more than six million over the years via letter, email, Facebook private messages and telephone advice lines.

Deidre is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a forum member of the Royal Society of Medicine. She helped found the Kids in the Middle coalition of 30 charities and 25 agony aunts, was a member of the Social Work Task Force and on the board of the National Family and Parenting Institute. Deidre is proud to become honorary president of Family Lives, is a patron of Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and was appointed an honorary council member of the NSPCC after serving on their National Commission of Inquiry Into the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Deidre previously worked at Nova magazine, The Sunday Times and Woman’s Own, where she was Consumer Journalist of the Year and awarded a Jubilee medal. She has been married for over 50 years and has two adult daughters and two grandchildren.

Chair – Anastasia de Waal

Anastasia de Waal is director of I Can Be, a charity focused on breaking down barriers to opportunity for disadvantaged children and young people. I Can Be’s core programme introduces inner-city primary school girls to the world of work through workplace visits, broadening their horizons and helping them to discover the breadth of opportunity around them.

Before setting up I Can Be, Anastasia was Deputy Director of think tank Civitas and Director of the Family and Education Unit. A qualified primary school teacher, Anastasia has written a number of publications on education and family issues, and contributed regularly to the media.

Treasurer - Warwick Jones

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 Bayliss

Stuart has been a Trustee for 25 years, 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.

Suzie Hayman

Suzie trained as a teacher, is a Relate-trained counsellor, an accredited TripleP (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator, a broadcaster and author of thirty one books.  She has been a national agony aunt for almost 30 years, now writing for Woman magazine, and 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. She was a trustee of Become, for “looked after” children and wrote agony pages in their magazines for LAC. Suzie 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. She is alsp patron of Unique Kidz, which offers support to children and young people with disabilities and has worked for the Family Planning Association, Brook and Family Lives when it was Parentline Plus. 

Suzie 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 many local BBC and commercial stations, often as a spokesperson for Family Lives. She 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. She has conceived and written leaflets and website material for many organisations including Family Lives, the NSPCC, One Parent Families now Gingerbread, the Family Planning Association, ParentingUK, Drinkaware and Brook Advisory Centres.  She is regularly asked to give expert comment in the national press.

Suzie was previously Vice-Chair of Parentline Plus.

Andrew Montgomery

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.

Dr John Coleman

Dr John Coleman is a clinical and developmental psychologist. For many years he was 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. 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

Neena Rupani currently works in Regulatory Affairs for BT. 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

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.

Kerri Summers

Kerri Summers is the founder and Head of Client Services at The Working Parent Company. The business was established in 1997 to provide support and advice for working parents. It delivers seminars and coaching programmes within organisations on parenting topics, wellbeing and mental health. After recently completing an MSc in Psychology she is working with Great Ormond Street Hospital to explore the research question of how to support parents when they have a child in critical care in hospital and also a well child.

Kerri is a Parent Gym coach facilitating six week parenting programmes in schools. She was previously a Governor at The Henrietta Barnett School and for several years mentored 6th form students through the Camden Education Business Partnership. She has two sons and as a parent strongly believes that all families should have access to advice and friendly support when they need it.