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!


MEP Andrew Lewer visits Nature and Nurture

Andrew Lewer MEP

We were pleased to welcome our MEP Andrew Lewer to Sunshine Barn recently.

Mr Lewer had asked to come and visit Nature and Nurture after hearing so much about us and what we were doing. He made time in his busy schedule to stay for a cup of coffee and find out more about the services we offer and the people we help.

Big Lottery Fund Supports Nature and Nurture


We have exciting news to share! Nature and Nurture has been awarded a substantial grant under the Big Lottery’s “Awards for All’ scheme, for a project to pilot our innovative approach to providing therapy. The money will be used to offer an assessment and up to 8 sessions of therapy to a number of local children and young people – in fact the first child has already started their therapy with us. We are so grateful to the Big Lottery for this grant, and look forward to sharing the results of the pilot in due course.

Pictured below are Frances Weston and Jane Stretton, with the plaque now on display in Sunshine Barn


Weleda Fundraising Evening

Our small fundraising event, a Weleda ‘pampering’ evening, took place on 17th July and was a great success.  Anna Kowalski, an agent for the company, presented a wide range of Weleda’s gorgeous natural face and body care products, and explained the benefits of each – allowing everyone to test them for themselves.  Our guests were treated to individual foot spa experiences – most welcome as it was an extremely warm evening!

Raffle prizes were very kindly donated by The Village Rainbow, Rhythm of Beauty, Daisy Chain, Three Treasures Qi-gong, Love to Change Your Style, Weleda and Brighter Futures Personal Growth.  We are pleased to announce that the evening raised £175 for Nature and Nurture.  Many thanks to everyone involved.





Waitrose in Ashbourne Supports Nature and Nurture

We’re delighted to announce that Waitrose in Ashbourne have chosen to support us through their ‘Community Matters’ initiative, for the month of February. So do pop your green tokens into our box if you’re shopping there this month – thank you!

BBC Radio Derby Interview

Frances was interviewed by Caroline Kerr of BBC Radio Derby on Wednesday November 6th. You can have a listen below.

Ashbourne News Telegraph

Many thanks to the Ashbourne News Telegraph for coming out to see us and writing this piece about Nature and Nurture on their business page –

Opening of Sunshine Barn

After months of hard work by Nick Chapman and his team of builders, we finally had our official opening on Wednesday 16th October. Lady Walker-Okeover kindly cut the ribbon for us, and we were delighted that so many people came to support us despite the horrendous weather that day! Visitors were able to look round all the rooms and find out more about what we are planning, and could experience free mini-treatments in our beautiful treatment room, which were kindly donated by Jackie Howard from Brackendale Spa. We had a fantastic spread of delicious cakes including a magnificent ‘Nature and Nurture’ cake kindly donated by Carole Law. Many thanks to everyone involved for making it a very memorable and special occasion.

Click here to view photos of the opening