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Free parenting support is available for families in seven local authority areas

Published in Press Releases on February 7th 2021

Free daytime or evening support is available for parents experiencing relationship and parenting problems in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Thurrock, Southend and Peterborough.

Many parents are struggling to cope with a full house, home schooling, isolation and continued anxiety surrounding the pandemic.

Thanks to funding from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Tavistock Relationships is delivering a free ‘Parenting Together’ programme to support parents in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Thurrock, Southend and Peterborough.

Currently provided online, ‘Parenting Together’ offers help to couples with children, whether living together or apart, divorced or separated, who are experiencing relationship and parenting problems.

Sarah Ingram, head of the ‘Parenting Together’ programme for Tavistock Relationships, explains:

“With most children not back to school until March at the earliest, social distancing, health worries, and increasing concerns about jobs and finances, many parents are struggling to cope. Stress can lead to tensions frequently boiling over, and lockdown has increased conflict between parents – both together and separated.

“Research shows us that sustained conflict between parents can have a negative effect on children’s development in terms of mental and physical health. They can experience problems at school, sleep difficulties and problems with the relationships they make themselves as they grow up.

“We are keen to reach out to parents to let them know that help is available – and at no cost to them. We are here to support parents feeling under extra pressure, both as a parent and within their relationship, whether together or separated.

“We can help parents experiencing rows and arguments that get stuck or become out of control, which they cannot sort out by themselves.

“‘Parenting Together’ is a free and flexible support service for parents, providing one-to-one or group professional advice sessions to parents. These sessions enable parents to find ways to manage stresses and disagreements, exploring patterns of behaviour, as well as tools and techniques to improve parenting skills and help their family succeed.

“Our trained therapists are able to work remotely and flexibly with parents, at a time to suit them, whether it’s in the evening or in the daytime.”

Couples and families can apply for free support direct at https://www.tavistockrelationships.org/p-together or by calling 020 7380 1960.

How to know when you need support

Relationships aren’t easy, especially when people have children to care for too. Sometimes expert, impartial help is needed. Therapists at Tavistock Relationships urge people to seek support before they reach breaking point, so that issues can hopefully be resolved, or an amicable split can be supported. Or for those who have already separated, relationship support can help parents to co-parent better apart.

Every couple is different, and the challenges very personal and individual. But here are four common themes:

  1. The domestic battle ground - the division of domestic tasks in general often creates conflict. For example, who cooks the evening meal and who takes out the bins. There’s also often conflict around carving out time for ourselves, for example who gets the lie-in at the weekend, or who gets to go out for a run.
  2. Different parenting styles - often when we become parents we consciously or unconsciously want to fix the problems we experienced as children, leading to specific parenting priorities and styles. For example, one parent might be quick to discipline, while the other more inclined to give lee-way. Sometimes these arguments are played out in front of the children, adding an extra layer of conflict.
  3. Sex and money - couples often argue over finances and how to spend money. And couples often argue about sex, with one partner looking for much more regular sex than the other is prepared to give.
  4. Communication - couples and co-parents frequently have different ways of communicating. Some people like to sort out issues straight away, even it if means having a row. While others want time to think about things, and then have a quiet conversation about it, hoping to avoid conflict. Some people find it hard to talk about what’s worrying them in the relationship, and there can be a lingering resentment over something, which one day reaches a boiling point that is hard to recover from.


For more press information contact:

John Fenna, Head of Marketing & Communications
T: 07818 092771. E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paula Scott, PR consultant
T: 07932 740221, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Debbie Walker, PR Consultant
T: 077486 40577, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors

Established in 1948, Tavistock Relationships is a registered charity internationally renowned for delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples. Tavistock Relationships has 120 professionals providing an effective and highly-regarded form of couples’ counselling and psychotherapy.

Funded by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Tavistock Relationships’ ‘Parenting Together’ programme is free to families in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Southend, Thurrock and Essex. And the ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme, also funded by the DWP, is free to parents in the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth.


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