About Us

About Us

Right from the Start’s logo of a boy and a dolphin playing together comes from the 18 ft bronze sculpture by David Wynne, which stands on the Chelsea Embankment beside the River Thames in London.

It was chosen because dolphins have great intelligence and show a close affinity with people – especially with children.

Dolphins never stop playing and communicating. They have a boundless sense of fun and joy which is infectious. They also have a powerful instinct to protect. By the time a dolphin is two years old it has developed its own ‘signature tune’ of calls which keep it closely connected to its family and the group of dolphins fishing and playing together – called a ‘pod’. In this way each dolphin ‘names’ itself. This allows every dolphin to recognise and ‘talk’ to each other.

Being with a dolphin – even listening to a recording of dolphin sounds – can help to steady and heal a child who is upset, grieving or handicapped in some way.

Our leaping dolphin and flying child logo remind us how, with the right start – a secure and happy childhood – every child is able to develop their fullest potential.

It also demonstrates the trust, affection, understanding and delight which each of us should be able to enjoy with each other and the natural world from earliest childhood to the end of our lives.

The charity would like to express warm gratitude to David Wynne for his permission to use his beautiful sculpture as a basis for our logo.

Founder and unpaid Chief Executive

Sarah and her husband live in Norfolk.  They have four children and eleven grandchildren.  She read Social Sciences at university and ever since has been closely involved with babies, children and their families.  Sarah worked with the NSPCC at one of their newly set-up Therapeutic Playgroups for mothers with young children, at which time she became a passionate advocate for ‘good parenting’.

Learn more about Sarah and the four powerful triggers that led to Right from the Start.

Our Trustees

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.

David Burden

Patrick Tomlinson

Series Editor

Patrick Tomlinson

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.

Elaine Heyse-Moore


A retired therapist, psychiatric nurse, clinical supervisor and trainer within the NHS, working with individuals and families. Her main therapy was Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) www.acat.me.uk

On a singing holiday in the hills of Catalonia, I quickly experienced the way children are drawn to Sarah. It’s one of the key reasons l joined the charity.

Though l worked mainly with adults, the difficulties they were experiencing in life often linked to earlier patterns learnt as a child. So it’s good to now be working in a charity that offers the kind of information and support that can make a real difference to families and children and – with it – a real difference to both this generation of children, and the next.

Elaine Heyse-Moore

Emily Winter

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.

Emily Winter

Jonathan Hughes


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?

Jonathan Hughes

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi


Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi is currently Director of Programme Policy and Quality for Save the Children UK. She was previously working as Head of Private Sector Development for the Department of International Development, UK.

She is a political economist by training and has been running economic development projects and programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean since 1994. She has extensive international development experience and, over 15 years, has demonstrated outstanding analytical, organisational, process management, team-working and policy development skills. She is a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow – a programme focused on building visionary and strategic leadership across Africa. Her voluntary work has included setting up a Youth Mentoring Programme in the West Midlands, working with the Women’s Crisis Centre at the University of Sussex and giving tutoring support to MBA (Masters of Business Administration) students at the University of Dar es Salaam. Her personal interests and delight lie in reading, cooking, music, running, playing squash and African traditional dancing.

I strongly believe that the backbone of every society lies in its future generations and the opportunities they are given to realise their full potential. Every child deserves to be given a chance – right from the start – to be the very best they can be. By working as a Trustee to Right from the Start, I hope to contribute to the realisation of this vision.

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi

Right from the Start is about to launch a new profile raising campaign and we’re looking for people to help us launch our Blog, Facebook and Twitter and keep them active.

This will help us complete our series of books, and spread the word – and we invite you to join us.

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.”

Our founder, Sarah Woodhouse, set up the charity to research and develop a healing response to the earliest roots of stress and fear in children’s lives.

Learn more about Sarah, and the four powerful triggers that led to Right from the Start.


Protecting children from neglect and abuse – can you help us work to achieve this . .

Right from the Start is working to help parents be the best parents they can be … right from the start.

Right from the Start is working to help parents be the best parents they can be … right from the start.

Right from the Start is working to help parents be the best parents they can be … right from the start.

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