Here at Nature and Nurture we take the issue of children and young peoples’ safety and wellbeing very seriously. All our staff and volunteers have Enhanced DBS checks (this replaces the CRB check) and have received the appropriate level of Safeguarding training. Bertha, our therapy dog, is insured and PAT (Pets as Therapy) registered; all the animals have regular healthchecks; and all Animal Assisted Therapy sessions and activities are conducted in accordance with the Society for Companion Animal’s ‘Animal-Assisted Interventions Code of Practice for the UK’



Frances Weston

The team is headed up by Managing Director, Frances Weston, who has worked therapeutically with children and young people for over 20 years. Whilst doing her Masters in Counselling she had placements with Barnardos and Cruse Bereavement Care, then went on to work as a volunteer for ChildLine. She worked within two NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Staffordshire for 14 years, as a Highly Specialist Child and Adolescent Therapist, a Senior Counsellor and Play Therapist, and pioneered the introduction of Animal Assisted Therapy during her time in CAMHS.   Alongside this, she built a very successful private practice (Brighter Futures Personal Growth) where she has specialised in working with children and young people, as well as working with adults. She passionately believes all children and young people should have access to high quality therapeutic services as soon as they need them, regardless of their parent/carers’ financial circumstances, which is why she founded Nature and Nurture CIC.

Frances is an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP); and is a qualified Play Therapist; Performance Coach; and level 3 EFT practitioner. Her work with Nature and Nurture was  ‘Highly Commended’ in the Towergate Care Awards in 2016.


Duncan Robb

Duncan Robb is the part/time Operations Director at Nature and Nurture, looking after all the non-therapy sides of the centre: administration, marketing, IT, finance and maintenance.

Having managed two National Governing Bodies (he was Chief Executive of the The British Triathlon Association and later The Pony Club), as well as running his own commercial photography business, Duncan has considerable experience of working with people, systems, suppliers and regional/local Government departments.

As a commercial photographer, Duncan specialised in working with the events industry, supplying the media with images for publicity as well as liaising with the press building up contacts in newspapers, magazine and broadcast outlets.  In recent years he has developed photography training workshops and online courses.

Carole Malcolm (nee Law)

Carole is one of our Non Executive Directors at Nature and Nurture. Carole worked for nearly thirty years as a counsellor. During the 1980’s she was a volunteer for Samaritans and then became an Accredited Counsellor for CRUSE Bereavement Care. In the 1990’s she was successful in obtaining a Certificate/Diploma in Counselling validated by the University of Manchester and then went on to obtain a Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She was an Accredited Counsellor with the BACP and Accredited provider of Triple P parenting. In 2007 she was awarded a PG Certificate in Supervision also from the University of Manchester.

In 2000 Carole was recruited by North Staffs Mind to develop a Counselling Service for young people and then went on to have a successful Private Practice working with both young people and adults. Carole is an energetic person with a strong belief that all young people deserve the opportunity to receive high quality emotional support to help them meet their potential and lead fulfilling lives. She relishes the challenge that being a Non Executive Director brings and welcomes the opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise but also to learn and develop with the project.

David Moore

David is our second Non Executive Director and has 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.

Anna Pinkerton

Anna is our external Supervisor. She is a trained art psychotherapist, play therapist and trauma practitioner. She is also trained in EMDRII, TIR and TRAT Trauma Resolution Art Therapy. She incorporates these trauma specific re-processing methods amongst a generic model of person centered psychotherapy. Anna has been practicising for twenty years and runs her own private practice. Her use of creativity, arts and play is an effective and informed blend of trauma reprocessing work and the use of image in trauma recovery and her work is highly informed by the latest research in neuroscience and the special requirements of ruptured attachment.

She has been instrumental in setting up three psychotherapeutic programmes: Umbrella Service, Sutton CAMHS, Welcare, London and Therapy Service for children & young people at Lambeth Victim Support serving victims of public and domestic crime in Stockwell & Brixton, London.

Kirsty Cooper

Kirsty is a sessional child counsellor with Nature and Nurture, and runs our therapy groups.  She began studying counselling in 2009 and went on to gain an MSC in counselling Psychology at Keele university.

She started working for younger MIND in 2011, facilitating therapeutic groups and working individually with children and young people. In 2014 she went on to study systemic and family psychotherapy and is now qualified systemic practitioner. She has also recently completed supervision training. Kirsty is a  qualified reiki practitioner and has gained a diploma in Mindfulness, which she integrates into her group work.

Liz Parker

Liz  is our sessional Parenting Practitioner.  She has a Diploma and Masters Degree in Social Work from Keele University and is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Solution Focused Therapy and Webster-Stratton Parenting.  She worked in the Probation Service for 4 years, before moving to Child Protection as a Social Worker with Cared For Children (Adopted and Fostered).  Liz then worked for CAMHS for 12 years: 4 years as a Social Worker and 8 years as a Case Manager/Therapist – a role she now holds part-time with East Cheshire CAMHS.  She has a special interest in working with children and young people with Autism, and their families.

She believes it is important for children to learn to express emotion appropriately at an early age, and for schools to incorporate emotional health and wellbeing into their curriculum.

Louisa Duckmanton

Louisa volunteers with us on a regular basis, and assists Kirsty in running our therapy groups.  She is a Youth Support Worker with experience in mentoring, coaching, arts-based activities, and community/environmental projects.

Her background is in Medicine, and she is a qualified First Aider.   Louisa has recently started studying Counselling and Psychotherapy at Derby University, and she also finds time to sit on our Fundraising Committee. She is pictured here after taking part in a triathlon to raise money for Nature and Nurture.


Tilly was our first PAT registered therapy dog; she worked with Frances as her co-therapist for 10 years – both in the NHS and within BFC. As one of the first therapy dogs in the country, Tilly attracted quite a bit of media attention over the years and even had her own Facebook page (Tilly The Therapy Dog).  Sadly she passed away in the Autumn of 2017 due to serious auto-immune condition. You can read more about her life here


Bertha is our adorable PAT registered therapy dog.  She took over from Tilly after completing obedience training and successfully passing her PAT assessment and is proving a very gentle and sensitive co-therapist for those children and young people who choose to have her present in their sessions.


Steve came to live at Church Farm after a few years as a city cat in Manchester.

He loves the slower pace of country life, and occasionally likes to join a therapy session if he thinks he will find a warm lap to snuggle into.

Henrietta and Hermione

Henrietta and Hermione are our therapy hens.  They are very friendly – particularly Henrietta, who loves to be cuddled!

Hens are known to have a calming effect and ours are very therapeutic to engage with.

Bertie and Beatrice

Bertie and Beatrice are our ‘therapy’ sheep, kindly donated to us by local farmer, John Burton. These two were adopted by Nature and Nuture as lambs and bottle-fed three times a day for several weeks.  They are very tame, and happy to be stroked by any visiting children.

Max and Miffy

Max and Miffy are our  beautiful Aylesbury ducks, who spend most of their time in the water, or trying to escape from the paddock!