Hello and welcome to Relate
Relate's vision is a future in which healthy relationships are actively promoted as the basis of a thriving society.
Our mission is to develop and support healthy relationships by:
- helping couples, families and individuals to make relationships work better
- delivering inclusive, high-quality services that are relevant at every stage of life
- helping both the public and policymakers to improve their understanding of relationships and what makes them flourish.
As the country’s largest provider of relationship support, every year we help over 150,000 people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations. We have over 70 Centres across the country and a network of counsellors working at 600 locations as well as by phone and online.
Our services include relationship counselling for individuals and couples; family counselling; counselling for children and young people and sex therapy. We also provide friendly and informal workshops for people at important relationship life stages.
Relate campaigns to see relationship support for children, adults and families at the heart of the social justice agenda. We are members of the Kids in the Middle coalition, a group of national charities and agony aunts campaigning for better services for separating parents and their children. We are also part of the Family Room group of charities, who share a common voice on family policy.
Who we are
Relate is a national federated charity with over 70 years experience of supporting the nation’s relationships.
Relate is governed by a Board of Trustees, all of them volunteers, who are deeply committed to realising our vision of a future in which healthy and happy relationships form the heart of a thriving society.
Our CEO is Ruth Sutherland.
The Relationships Alliance
Relate is a member of The Relationships Alliance, a consortium of four charities – OnePlusOne, Relate, Marriage Care and the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships – with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of strong and stable relationships as a basis for a thriving society.
Our President, Cary Cooper
Cary L. Cooper is Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health. He is the author/editor of over 120 books (on occupational stress, women at work and industrial and organizational psychology), has written over 400 scholarly articles for academic journals, and is a frequent contributor to national newspapers, TV and radio.
Professor Cooper is also the President of the Institute of Welfare, President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, President of RELATE, a national Ambassador of The Samaritans, and a Patron of Anxiety UK.
“I am really proud to represent an organisation that has helped so many couples and individuals over decades. The times we are going through are particularly difficult for individuals and their relationships, as many struggle with the demands of dual career relationships, debt, job insecurity/job loss and the lack of support from the extended family and community, as many have had to be increasingly more mobile to get jobs. I will work tirelessly to support Relate in their challenges ahead and in the wonderful and self-less work they engage in”.
Our patron, Professor Tanya Byron
Professor Tanya Byron is a well respected academic and practitioner. She has worked extensively in the NHS around issues of drug dependency, HIV/AIDS and sexual health, adult mental health and eating disorders services.
Tanya still practices as a Consultant in child and adolescent mental health in a general practice. She has also done high profile TV work for the BBC on child behaviour, science and current affairs.
Tanya is also involved in shaping government policy. In March 2008, she published the Byron Review: Safer Children in a Digital World (which was also the topic of her speech at the most recent Children and Young People conference). Tanya currently advises the coalition government on the digital agenda and child / family wellbeing and was an advisor to Lord Stephen Carter and the Digital Britain board.
“Emotional wellbeing forms the backdrop of a healthy and happy society and that’s why I believe charities like Relate are so important. I’m so pleased to be able to support the organisation as a Patron and I believe passionately in the services Relate offers. Everyone faces challenges in their lives, but Relate is always here to help people pick up the pieces and make their relationships stronger as a result. Asking for help when things get tough is not something to be ashamed and can make a real difference to both young people and adults alike.”
Relate has a number of high profile individuals who believe in our work and are committed to spreading the word of Relate.
Danielle Lineker, model and television presenter
“1 in 3 families are now step-families but people don’t really talk about the issues. As a step-Mum and growing up in a step-family you realise there are no rules and no books out there for you - it can be really isolating. I think it’s really fantastic that Relate are offering help to step-families, people who find themselves in the same situation as me. Having somebody to talk to, to reassure you that you are doing a good job is so important.”
Bel Mooney, writer and broadcaster
"Through writing my advice column in the Saturday Daily Mail (and before that, on the Times) I become increasingly aware of the enormous need for the services of Relate. Time and time again I suggest to readers that they get in touch with Relate - quite simply because the range offered is unsurpassed.
Nearly thirty years ago, as a very young journalist I wrote about what was then the National Marriage Guidance Council, and admired its work. That organisation grew and changed - and now Relate has spread its wings, offering wisdom and experience to help individuals, couples and whole families through their difficult times. I don't know what we would do without it."
Acclaimed novelist, Roopa Farooki
The critically acclaimed novelist of Bitter Sweets and Corner Shop, Roopa Farooki, has recently come on board as Relate's new Ambassador for Family Counselling. She said:
"I am delighted to take the role as Ambassador for Relate's Family Counselling Service; my husband and I found Relate's services invaluable at a difficult time in our relationship, and we have since had two wonderful children and celebrated fourteen years together."
We are also supported by celebrities who believe in our work with children and teenagers
Theo Walcott, Arsenal and England
"Young people can face lots of problems nowadays. Whether it's to do with parents splitting up, or bullying at school, it's good to know that they can talk confidentially to a Relate counsellor. I'd like to congratulate Relate on its 70th Anniversary: keep up the good work in helping children and young people to get over their relationship problems so they can feel happier at home, at school and with their friends."
Jacqueline Wilson, Children's Laureate 2005-2007
"I often write about troubled children and teenagers whose families are in conflict. It's so good to know that Relate offers such sensitive counselling for young people enduring similar situations."
Great social movements come from humble beginnings. Relate began life as the Marriage Guidance Council in 1938 through the pioneering work of Dr Herbert Gray who was committed to safeguarding the family as the basis of community life. Counselling was delivered from a small London office, opened in 1943, and over 8,000 clients were seen by a group of dedicated volunteers in the next five years.
In the 1950s, as family life began to recover after the traumas of the war years, the Marriage Guidance Council began to be recognised as a national institution providing dedicated and valuable work.
In 1988, we re-launched as Relate in recognition of our widened access to same sex couples, single people, children and young people and families. Today we have evolved into a modern, thriving organisation providing innovative responses to the needs of the communities we serve.
Our highly skilled work-force enable clients to feel better about their relationships; which has an impact on their ability to work or go to school, to maintain a stable home life and to get involved in their community. In housing, health, employment and emotional wellbeing, people who use Relate services see positive outcomes. Relate makes a difference at the heart of society.