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Kids Matter aims to bring about sustainable change in family life in hard-to-reach communities by equipping churches to empower parents with the skills to build strong relationships with their children.

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Our Vision

Our vision is to equip the church to empower parents and caregivers facing adversity to develop confidence and parenting skills necessary for well-functioning family life. We do this through training and preparing front line church and Christian community leaders to run our relational, evidence-based Kids Matter parenting programme.

We envisage hundreds of small parenting groups meeting in local communities all over the country, learning how to strengthen their families and supporting one another in doing so.

Kidsmatter Group
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“This week I have really tried to listen properly to my kids, and so I sat down when my son wanted to talk to me and he said ‘mum, you are really listening to me!’”

Our Impact

50

LOCATIONS

497

FAMILIES REACHED IN LAST 18 MONTHS

88

GROUPS
RUN

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92%

of parents say the programme has helped them and their hopes were met

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99%

of parents would recommend to a friend

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82%

of parents finished the 6 weeks feeling confident

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Is there a Kids Matter programme in your community?

Why through the local Church?

The local church is uniquely positioned to reach parents and caregivers facing adversity in their communities because of its large volunteer base and mission oriented purpose.

Want to partner with us?

If you share our vision for equipping parents and caregivers with the skills to build strong relationships within their families, we’d love to be in touch.

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Kids Matter Team

Dr Eli Gardner

Dr Eli Gardner

Exec. Director & Co-Founder

Jo Stilwell

Jo Stilwell

Training & Relationships

Katie Akhurst

Katie Akhurst

Partnership Manager SE & Operational Manager

Fuzz Dix

Fuzz Dix

Regional Trainer

Celia Dean

Celia Dean

Clinical Psychologist

Lynette Woodward Partnership Manager Eastern Region

Lynette Woodward

Partnership Manager, Eastern Region

Nina Glen

Executive Assistant (Fundraising & Research)

Jules Hodge

Support & Supervisor South West

Andrea Zanin

Andrea Zanin

Communications & Media

Mary Stephens

Mary Stephens

Partnership Manager South West

Grace Broome

Prison Partnership Development

Kids Matter Trustees

Ali Stewart

Chair of Trustees

The Hon. Lady Le Marchant Chair Of The Board

The Hon. Lady Le Marchant

Trustee

Dr Eli Gardner

Dr Eli Gardner

Co-Founder & Trustee

Marika Osmond

Marika Osmond

Co-Founder & Trustee

Rev Ed Dix Trustee

Rev Ed Dix

Trustee

Fuzz Dix

Fuzz Dix

Trustee

Rev Prebendary Nicky Lee

Rev Prebendary Nicky Lee

Trustee

Heather Grizzle

Heather Grizzle

Treasurer

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Our Network Partners

Parenting Children Course Logo
National Parenting Initiative Logo
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Caring for Ex Offenders Logo

Current Vacancies

Are you passionate about family life? Do you want to see transformation in the hardest to reach families and see an end to cycles of deprivation? Come be part of Kids Matter!

Hiring for: Senior Support Role job description

Application form – download here

Andrea Zanin

Communications and Media

Andrea is a freelance writer/editor with expertise in discourse analysis, creative content design and social media management. As a cum laude graduate with an Honours degree in literature and a degree in law, as well as experience in business publishing and online content management, Andrea has a versatile client base that spans corporate, academic and entertainment disciplines. Published in print and a regular contributor to the World Wide Web, Andrea has a comprehensive understanding of writing as a means of communication, and is excited to part of a project that recognises the essential role of family in the transformation of society. Andrea and her husband Warren live in London with their five children.

Celia Dean

Clinical Psychologist

Celia is a Clinical Child Psychologist and has worked in the NHS for a number of years in a variety of settings both in community and in-patient units.  In recent years she has developed an interest in what helps parents cope with the demands and challenges of parenting particularly for those struggling with adversity. She lives in Devon with her husband and two boys and is keen to see parents in the South West of England have the opportunity to be supported and empowered through Kids Matter groups.

Fuzz Dix

Regional Trainer and Trustee

Fuzz is an Oxford University Graduate studying French and Philosophy. She has worked with children and parents in the council estates of Peckham and the East End since 2000. Leading and training teams in churches, schools and community projects. Presently heading up a community church plant on the Isle of Dogs with her husband Ed and their four sons. Together they are working hard to transform the local community.

 

Katie Akhurst

Partnership Manager SE & Operational Manager

Katie is passionate about seeing the church become the social transformational hub of all communities, a place which runs a wide variety of projects to meet the needs of the last, the least and the lost. Previously Katie has worked for Resurgo supporting disadvantaged young people to develop their skills and confidence. She is a trained graphic designer and loves to use these skills to support small organisations with their marketing.

 

 

Jo Stilwell

Training & Relationships

Jo helps to lead a church in SW London with her husband and is passionate to see people in her local community connected and flourishing. In the last few years Jo has worked for organisations supporting disadvantaged new parents and young adults to develop their skills and confidence. She and her husband have three children.

 

 

 

Mary Stephens

Partnership Manager SW

Mary is an Early Years Education specialist; her roles have included training teachers on The Teach First programme that works with schools in disadvantaged areas.  As a mum to six adult children and stepchildren, she has seen at first hand the joys and challenges of raising children in today’s complex world. A move to the South West with her husband has enabled her to become involved with her local rural church and to be part of an Open the Book team that takes Bible stories into two local primary schools.

 

 

 

 

Lynette Woodward Partnership Manager Eastern Region

Lynette Woodward

Partnership Manager Eastern Region

Lynette is married to Darren and they have two adult children, and one granddaughter. One of her children has Asperger Syndrome and Lynette openly admits that bringing up her family has not been easy and therefore sees the need to equip & support parents/carers as much as possible. Professionally, this led Lynette to support families and children with additional needs, and in particular concentrating on educational law to enable parents to access the right education for their children. Alongside her husband, Lynette is on the leadership team of her local church and is also a part time family support worker for the church, facilitating the Kids Matter programme. Lynette values family life and is passionate about helping families (of whatever shape or size) flourish into functional, happy, safe places to be.

 

 

 

 

Rev Ed Dix Trustee

Rev Ed Dix

Trustee

Ed, together with his wife Fuzz, lead St Luke’s Millwall, a local Anglican church serving the community on the Isle of Dogs, a diverse, inner city part of east London.  Ed loves prayerfully pioneering new initiatives that can make a tangible difference in people’s lives.  He and Fuzz have four sons, who give him grey hair and much happiness.

 

 

 

 

The Hon. Lady Le Marchant Chair of the Board

The Hon. Lady Le Marchant

Trustee

Silvia is best described as a social entrepreneur and has a special interest in education and family life.  She has been at the founding stages of several charities over the last 25 years. Her start-up involvements include ‘Businesswise’ a charity that taught entrepreneurship to Pupil Referral Unit children, the think tank CIVITAS, the New Wine Theological Centre, and most recently, Kids Matter.  She is a school governor in an inner city voluntary aided secondary school.  She is a policy writer for the Centre for Social Justice and she has recently become Trustee at the Community of St Anselm’s, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intentional community initiative. She is married and has four children.

 

 

 

Marika Osmond

Co-Founder & Trustee

Marika is a qualified parenting course facilitator of many years, has been working as head of the Single Parent Ministry with HTB for the last 20 years, as well as being a Foster mother to challenging teenagers and raising her own daughter as a single parent. Her experience of working with families and children in the inner cities lead to exploring and piloting the materials of Kids Matter.

 

 

 

Rev Prebendary Nicky Lee

Trustee

The Reverend Prebendary Nicky Lee is Associate Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), a thriving Anglican church in the heart of London. Over the past thirty years he and his wife, Sila, have developed and produced resources to help support family life through local churches. He is co-founder with Sila of The Marriage  Course, The Marriage Preparation Course, The Parenting Children Course (0-10 yr-olds) and The Parenting Teenagers Course (11-18 yr-olds). There are currently more than 8,000 Marriage and Parenting Courses being run in 127 countries. The resources have been translated into 46 languages. Nicky and Sila are co-authors of The Marriage Book and The Parenting Book. They have been married for 40 years and have four children and eight grandchildren. They regularly speak to thousands of guests at training events and conferences worldwide.

 

 

 

 

Heather Grizzle

Treasurer

Heather is a founding partner of Causeway Strategies, a boutique consulting firm that helps individuals, organizations and corporations to communicate, connect and advance their objectives more effectively. She is the co-author, with Jon Tyson, of A Creative Minority: Influencing Culture Through Redemptive Participation. She was formerly a partner at ASG Advisors, which advises corporate foundations and executives on their philanthropic and positioning efforts. Her background includes work in the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well corporate communications in New York and charity sector communications in London. She graduated cum laude with high honors in Economics from Harvard University, where her thesis included original research on giving and volunteering in the United States. Heather is vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Stewardship, and a member of the Boards of Innovations for Poverty Action and Alpha USA.  She and her husband, Ben, have four young children.

Ali Stewart

Chair of Trustees

Alexandra (Ali) Stewart began her career at JP Morgan Chase 18 years ago, and since then has worked in International Development, Fundraising, Executive Recruitment and Coaching. She is passionate about the intersection of business and charity, with each borrowing best practice from the other. Ali is also deeply passionate about family breakdown and parenting skills training across the socioeconomic spectrum. She has trained as a Parenting Coach/Facilitator with The Parent Practice and has assisted on their parenting courses in Wimbledon. She is thrilled to be working with Kids Matter to come alongside families that otherwise would not have access to parenting coaching and would therefore be set on a different trajectory of family life. Ali currently consults with Resurgo Consulting, part of Resurgo Trust/Spear, which seeks to transform business through coaching and is working toward her International Coach Federation (ICF) accreditation at Associate Coach Level. She is married to Justin and they have three young children.

Nina Glen

Executive Assistant (Fundraising & Research)

Nina is a Psychology graduate, having graduated in Psychology with Fine Art. She has a particular interest in young people's mental health, is a volunteer crisis counsellor and has worked for three years with children with special needs. Nina is delighted to be a part of Kids Matter's mission, enabling their evidence-based parenting programmes to reach those who have the least access to support. She considers early intervention essential to a child's development and passionately believes in giving all children - whatever their circumstances -  the best opportunity to flourish.

Jules Hodge

Support & Supervisor South West

Jules has a background in childcare having taught a variety of child development courses. She also trained as a Mediator, specialising in Restorative Justice.

Her voluntary work has taken her into various prisons as a tutor and mediator, an experience she has found invaluable in understanding the needs of those in diverse situations. Jules and her husband moved to the South West 20 years ago to be involved with a City church, where she helped to manage various new  projects. She has two grown children and 3 grandchildren. In her spare time she loves fresh air and exercise….but please don’t ask her to cook!

Dr Eli Gardner

Exec. Director, Co-Founder & Trustee

Eli is a Clinical Psychologist with 25 years of working with children and families in the NHS and in the voluntary and charitable sectors. Her recent Doctoral thesis evaluated The Parenting Children Course and an early version of the Kids Matter programme showing it to be an effective tool in bringing about changes in parenting and child behaviour. She and her husband David have three children and live in London.