Our history

Great social movements often come from humble beginnings, and we began life as the Marriage Guidance Council in 1938.

Dr Herbert Gray

Clergyman Dr Herbert Gray and a group of his colleagues became concerned about the impact of modern day life on marriage and began pioneering research into relationships. Hundreds of married people came forward for help and their work began.

Committed to safeguarding the family as the basis of community life, Dr Gray delivered counselling from a small London office in 1943. Over 8,000 clients were seen by a group of dedicated volunteers over the next five years.

By the 1950s, as family life began to recover after the traumas of the war, the Marriage Guidance Council began to be recognised as a national institution providing dedicated and valuable work.

From Marriage Guidance to Relate 

On Valentine’s Day 1988, we relaunched as Relate in recognition of our wider relationship work with single people, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples, children and young people and families.

In 2006 we opened The Relate Institute – our training academy for counsellors validated by the University of Hull.

80 years supporting the nation's relationships

In 2018, we celebrated 80 years of providing relationship support. We have evolved into a modern, thriving organisation providing innovative responses to the needs of the communities we serve.