Summer Fete 16 July 2016

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to our first Summer Fete on Saturday, and to all our volunteers, friends, family and supporters who helped to make the day a great success. We’re pleased to say we raised £1115!

Despite a soggy start to the day we had a good turnout, and were pleased by how many people said they had really enjoyed the afternoon. Apart from raising some desperately needed funding, the event has also helped more local families to become aware of us and the work we do.

Here is our newest addition to the team, Bertha,  soaking up the atmosphere . . .


We Did It!

After weeks of training, our plucky team of triathletes – Duncan Robb, Louisa Duckmanton, Lynn Furber, Kirsty Cooper and Frances Weston – completed the Ashbourne Triathlon on Sunday 22 May 2016.   Thank you so much to everyone who supported and encouraged us and helped us to raise a whopping £1212.50 for Nature and Nurture.

L to R: Louisa Duckmanton, Frances Weston and Kirsty Cooper


We were delighted to be invited to a special evening with DHL , Lou Macari and friends at Old Trafford on Saturday to see a screening of the film ‘Marvellous’ based on the life of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin. Nature and Nurture were chosen to be the recipients of the raffle proceeds and we’re delighted to announce that the raffle raised £1,100! A huge thank you to DHL and to Debbie Goward for making this possible – its a fabulous contribution to our fundraising effort.









Towergate Care Awards 2016


Creative Counselling Initative of the Year

We are delighted to announce that our Managing Director and lead therapist, Frances, was one of three finalists in the inaugural Towergate Care Awards 2016, in the Creative Counselling Initiative of the Year category.   Frances was nominated by our external supervisor, Anna Pinkerton, primarily in recognition of her innovative work with Nature and Nurture, and shortlisted from 140 nominations in her category.

Frances and Operations Director, Duncan Robb, attended the Awards Ceremony at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, London last Thursday and were treated to a champagne reception and delicious three-course lunch before the awards were announced.   The ceremony was hosted by comedian and actor Sally Phillips, pictured here with Frances.


Inaugural Meeting of New Fundraising Committee

We are so grateful to the volunteer members of our new fundraising committee who gave up their time to attend the first meeting today.  They bring a wealth of talent, experience and enthusiasm to the table and with their help we are hoping to raise funds to enable us to offer our services to more children and young people.


Our new Patron


We are very pleased to announce that Lady Philippa Walker-Okeover has agreed to be a Patron for Nature and Nurture.  Lady Philippa, who kindly opened Sunshine Barn for us back in October 2013, has maintained a keen interest in our work ever since.  In her role as patron she will help us to raise awareness of the services we offer as well as lending her support to our fundraising efforts.  Lady Philippa commented on her new role as follows:

“I was delighted to be asked to be involved in Nature and Nurture, and lend my support to such a worthwhile cause. It seems quite plain to me that an avenue where a child, experiencing challenging times can open up to a caring professional, who can listen and help is an absolutely invaluable service to our local community.”


Thank You Pudsey!

NEW Supported By

We are delighted to announce that our application for funding to BBC Children in Need has been successful, and we have been awarded a total of £95,423 over the next three years!

This means we will be able to build on the successful pilot we ran over the past year, and start seeing more children and young people – both individually and in groups.  We are going to be accepting referrals from September this year, and we can’t wait to get started.

We want to thank BBC Children in Need for this fantastic award, and also thank everyone who has donated money to them.

Nature and Nurture featured in new Channel 4 programme ‘Born Naughty?’

About this time last year we were contacted by Maverick TV, makers of Channel 4’s new series ‘Born Naughty?’ who were seeking our help with Honey, a 9 year old girl who had severe anxiety issues.  Libby Hill, one of ‘Born Naughty?’s panel of experts, had tried to assess Honey in a library setting but the unfamiliarity of the place and the people had caused Honey to become extremely anxious and destructive, and it took 45 minutes to calm her sufficiently for Libby to begin her assessment.  Libby, who runs Smalltalk Speech and Language Therapy  based in Uttoxeter, is well known to us and is a stalwart supporter of Nature and Nurture.

She recognised Honey’s ‘meltdowns’ were routed in anxiety, and thought Sunshine Barn would be the perfect place to carry out the second part of her assessment given that its in the countryside and has been designed to be a cosy, low-stress environment for anxious, troubled or traumatised children and young people to be offered therapy in.  The fact that we also have a number of animals, including our trained therapy dog, Tilly, also influenced Libby as she knew how much Honey loved animals and thought they would help her to relax.








Episode One, featuring Honey, was aired last night at 8pm.  Tilly (although sadly not shown on the programme) accompanied Honey throughout her assessment, and her presence was instrumental in helping Honey relax sufficiently to engage with Libby.  The difference in Honey’s behaviour when she came here for the day, compared to when she had been to the library, was striking.  It was a wonderful endorsement for our model, and proves that our approach of offering therapy in a relaxed, child-friendly environment enables challenging children to be reached more effectively than seeing them in other types of settings.

You can see Honey at Sunshine Barn here, at 28:59 and read Libby’s blog post about our collaborative work with her and how she assessed Honey below

Honey was formally diagnosed with ASD and Pathological Demand Avoidance, and is now receiving expert support and schooling appropriate to her needs.  We are delighted that we were able to play a small part in helping Honey and her family, and are grateful to Libby for highlighting our work.

Changes to our Management Team


We recently said goodbye to one of our Non Executive Directors, the lovely Jane Stretton. We thank her so much for her huge contribution to Nature and Nurture over the past two years, and wish her all the best with her new enterprise.



Jane has been replaced by David Moore, who brings with him a broad base of business experience gained as both a corporate employee and more recently a business owner. After starting his career as a high school teacher David changed direction and joined the pharmaceutical industry where he spent 24 years in a variety of sales, marketing and leadership roles across the UK. In 2010 he left the corporate environment to found his own business working with business leaders and managers on the development of effective leadership skills and interpersonal behaviour in the workplace.

He is a certified professional coach and member of the Association for Coaching, an NLP practitioner and an accredited business coach on the Government’s Growth Accelerator Programme. He is also a certified facilitator for the TetraMap® personal style and team-working profiling tool. We extend a warm welcome to David and look forward to working with him.

It’s a sign – and a very nice one!

Sunshine Barn sign01

We’re delighted with our new sign at the doorway to Sunshine Barn, just in case anyone was in any doubt about where they were.

The sign has been produced by Dianna Lee of  Artywood, beautifuly hand painted onto a very stylish black slate. We think it looks fabulous!