Looking for a quote or an interview? We have a team of counsellors, sex therapists and policy experts on hand to respond to media requests. 

Our spokespeople offer responses to news stories, comment for features and are happy to discuss commissions for editorial work.

We also offer contributions to proposals for television productions, undertake consultancy work with programme makers and provide on-screen experts. 

To arrange to speak with one of our our spokespeople contact our media team.

Key spokespeople at Relate

Ruth Sutherland, CEO

Ruth joined Relate from Scope where she was Executive Director of Services. Prior to that she was the Chief Operating Officer at the Alzheimer’s Society and held the interim CEO role for a year during that period. Previous to that she was the Director of Services at Rethink Mental Illness.

Ruth originally qualified as a Registered General Nurse but has spent the majority of her career in public health roles. This included being the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing based in Northern Ireland.

Ruth is married with three young adult children and divides her time between her home in Northern Ireland and her work based in London.

Chris Sherwood, Director of Policy and External Affairs

Chris leads on campaigns, marketing, policy and research, digital media and media and communication for Relate. Chris joined Relate from Scope where he was the Director of Innovation and Development. He was previously a Senior Development Manager at Nesta where he led their work on Co-production, People Powered Health and Ageing. Chris has over ten years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector and prior to this he worked in Westminster and local government. His career interest to date has been on policy, innovation and service improvement in welfare to work, family support and adult social care.

Chris holds a degree in History and Society from Exeter University. He is also the Co-Founder of Guerilla Policy, a hub site for frontline bloggers on social policy. 

Denise Knowles, Relationship Counsellor, Sex Therapist, Family Counsellor, Trainer

Denise joined Relate in 1990 and qualified as a counsellor two years later. She maintains her couple counselling caseload, and has worked tirelessly over the last decade to expand the range of her interests and expertise, becoming a highly skilled practitioner and qualified psychosexual therapist, and supervisor. She is also a well-known media spokesperson.

Denise's special interests include Sex therapy, Relate Family counselling, Relate for Parents, relationship education and health promotion in schools. She is also experienced at dealing with issues around domestic violence, depression and surviving sexual abuse. Denise is an integral member of the counselling and training team of her local Relate Centre, Northampton, offering courses such as Parenting Skills, Moving On and other life-skills workshops.

Denise has a great deal of experience as a radio and magazine agony aunt and has a weekly slot on BBC Radio Northampton. Denise has earned a reputation for contributing swiftly and effectively to requests from national media. She is frequently interviewed for national news stories on the BBC One O'Clock News, Sky News and Radio Five Live and has gone head to head with John Humphreys on Radio Four's Today Programme. She appears regularly on national TV and radio discussion shows including GMTV, This Morning, Woman's Hour and many more.

Denise is married and has three grown up children - two sons and a daughter, and two grandchildren.

Christine Northam, MBACP (Accred), Relate Certified Counsellor, P.G. Dip Systemic Practice with Couples and Families

Christine, who has been working with Relate for 14 years, is a highly experienced counsellor working with individuals and couples coping with relationship difficulties. These difficulties can include affairs, communication breakdown, redundancy, money, parenting issues, loss, low self-esteem, depression, abuse and addiction.

She has a particular interest in the effects of divorce on families and feels that counselling support can help parents to manage their separation in a way that reduces the negative impact on the couple and their children.

Her experience includes working as a facilitator in self-awareness groups for counsellors in training.

Since joining the Relate National Media Team ten years ago, she has been widely quoted on a range of relationship issues in all the national print media. She has written for Good Housekeeping, Easy Living, Red, The Times, Mother and Baby Centre, Soap Life, Yours, and bbc.co.uk. Christine has acted as a consultant for Relate publications too.

Broadcast media appearances include: BBC Breakfast, GMTV., The Trevor MacDonald Show, Channel Four, Woman’s Hour, Radio Five, BBC News 24, Bloomberg, Community Channel, BBC Radio 4, Sky News, and many local radio stations.

She is married with three grown up sons who all work in the media industry.

Paula Hall, Relationship and Sex Therapist

Paula is a UKCP Registered Sexual & Relationship Psychotherapist who is also accredited by the BACP and BASRT. She works both for Relate and in private practice. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with many hundreds of clients helping them overcome sexual and relationship difficulties. She specialises in adolescent issues and sexual addiction.

As an expert on relationships and sexuality, she is regularly asked to comment for national press and women’s magazines as well as appearing on national radio and television. She has written the BBC’s website pages on relationships and sex and is author of The Lovers Guide Interactive. She has also written the Relate guides, How to Have a Healthy Divorce and Help Your Children Cope with Your Divorce. She is also a behind the scenes consultant for a number of TV productions and charitable and statutory agencies.

Paula regularly appears on various national and local current affairs and lifestyle programmes, including, GMTV, LK Today, BBC Breakfast, BBC News 24, Sky News, Five News, Richard & Judy, The Trisha show, the Alan Titchmarsh Show, Radio 1 Sunday Surgery and Woman’s Hour. She has recently been involved with C4 The Sex Education Show, BBC Young Mums Mansion and C4 Am I a Sex Addict.

Paula is married with two children and lives in Warwickshire.