Founder and Chief Executive
Sarah has been the unpaid Chief Executive since 1985. She read Social Sciences at Exeter University, married a teacher, had four children, worked for a short while with the Lambeth Probation Service also the Citizens Advice Bureau. She then became a ‘ home tutor’ to seriously disturbed or violent teenagers excluded from school. She was on the Council of Amnesty International UK with a particular concern for Children’s Rights. She worked on the drafting of the first Amnesty Human Rights Education Project for UK Secondary Schools: Teaching and Learning about Human Rights. During that time, Sarah’s concern continued to grow that ‘human rights and human wrongs’ must, essentially, be absorbed by children from the very beginning – from birth – through ‘the air they breath, the smiling faces they see, the loving voices they hear and the gentle hands that hold them’ (parents and other close and caring adults.) It was this increasingly acute concern that lead to her long, careful, worldwide investigations, the building of connections and the planning and launch of Helping Parents Shine. Right from the Start.
Click here to learn about four powerful and haunting experiences that transformed Sarah’s thinking and acted as triggers to all that followed.
David Burden CB CVO CBE
Chairman of Trustees
During a wide ranging Army career, David more recently specialised in logistics and personnel as a Major General and Military Secretary and Chief Executive of the Army Personnel Centre.
On retirement from the Army, he became Receiver General at Westminster Abbey and was responsible for the administration of many great national services and events including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Wedding Celebrations, the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, and the Queen Mother’s funeral.
He was subsequently appointed Deputy High Bailiff by the Dean and also holds a number of other appointments, including governor of Sutton Valence School. He lives in Suffolk.
The greatest gifts my wife and I have received have been our two daughters, now happily married, and the three grandchildren we now enjoy. The opportunity to serve Right from the Start might perhaps help others to have the same wonderful pleasure that a warm and loving family background can give to children from the earliest age. I can think of no better way to use whatever experience I have than to bring to fruition the inspirational vision of this charity.
Emily met Sarah at a Speed Awareness course, of all places, in their home county of Norfolk. Emily’s background in publishing and with two little ones preoccupying most of her time, Sarah’s goals and ambitions for Right from the Start felt very pertinent.
After five years working for Yale University Press on their art and architecture list, Emily moved to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to work on their varied list of in-house and co-published titles. After leaving the museum to have children, Emily has juggled freelance work alongside being a mum.
Right from the Start is the most incredible resource for new parents, providing uncomplicated and encouraging advice, when the magnitude of the problems feel insurmountable. Sarah’s voice is everywhere in her publications, and I very much look forward to helping in whatever small way I can to ensure that more new parents are able to benefit from her wisdom and that of the wider expertise of the Right from the Start team.
A creative facilitator and copywriter, Jonathan’s forte is brainstorming and leading training and creative workshops in the UK and Europe. He is facilitator trainer for the ‘Be The Change’ symposium ( www.bethechangeinitiative.org ) developed by the Pachamana Alliance in America. Groups from 5 to 500 of like-hearted, deeply committed people pull together, on an unprecedented scale, to change the most harmful cultural ‘stories’ of our times and to move in new directions. The three critical concerns are environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfilment..
He has been involved in International Summer Camps for young people, working with non-profit organisations and bringing exceptional small businesses to life.
What I love about Right from the Start is the way it makes the most vital knowledge so accessible and inspiring. Its start point is how to make a difference where it is most needed. If we could point to a single place where we could make the biggest difference to our families, our communities and our society … it is here. Of course, we need to get our way of seeing ourselves and our world – and with it, our way of being with each other – Right from the Start. If not, then when?
Patrick’s experience of providing services for children spans from 1985. He specialises in work with children who have suffered trauma, though he has a broad interest in child development and parenting.
He has worked with people and organisations in numerous countries, as a care worker, manager, director, clinician, consultant and author.
Patrick believes passionately in the importance of the early years and in doing whatever is possible to support parents and families.
Our overarching aim is to have a transforming impact on children at the earliest stages in their life and, with it, a similar effect on our families and communities.
I strongly believe that the success of our efforts to tackle social breakdown and create a healthy society will depend, in large part, on the efforts of organisations such as Right from the Start. David Willetts
The charity’s bedrock is the ten principles enshrined in The International Convention for the Rights of the Child (1999):
“Mankind owes to the child the best that it can give.”