Christine Anderson, Family Links Advisor

Christine Anderson

Christine Anderson is Service Development Lead at Family Nurse Partnership National Unit. She is a former commissioner and programme manager of NHS Public Health Services for 0 – 5 year-olds across the Thames Valley area.


Prior to this she was Children’s and Maternity services Commissioner for Buckinghamshire Primary Care Trust, which involved commissioning a broad portfolio of services, acute and community.


Christine trained as a registered nurse in South Africa before emigrating to the UK and continuing her career in a range of nursing disciplines, eventually specialising in Health Visiting.

Laura Barbour, Family Links Advisor

Laura Barbour

Laura was the first Trust Administrator at the Sutton Trust; joining in 1997 and helping Sir Peter Lampl to establish the Trust which aims to promote social mobility equality of opportunity through education. Between 1997 and 2015 she combined raising a family with a range of roles at the Trust, most recently taking the lead in Early years. Laura remains involved as a consultant for the Sutton Trust/ Esmee Fairbairn Parental Engagement fund.


Prior to joining the Sutton Trust she was part of the management team at the national youth work charity “UK Youth” and started her career in fundraising for Cancer Research UK and the Mental Health foundation

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Liz Burton

Liz is a recently retired headteacher. She has worked in the state sector for forty years, always in multi- cultural city schools, starting out as a class teacher in London in the days of the Inner London Education Authority (I.L.E.A.) and working in a number of schools in North London.

She has been a headteacher for the last 18 years, at St Ebbe’s and St Mary and St John Primary schools in Oxford City. She supports other schools through working as a school improvement partner and has mentored and coached new headteachers.

She has a passion for developing emotional health across a whole school community. Liz has worked very closely with Family Links, benefitting from a strong partnership over the last few years which has enabled her school to focus on staff, pupil and family well-being.

Liz lives in Oxford with her husband Richard and has two grown up children.

John Coleman, Family Links Advisor

John Coleman

Dr John Coleman is a clinical and developmental psychologist. He was for many years the Director of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA), and he has been a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University (2006-2015). He is the author of many books, including “The nature of adolescence: 4th Edition” (Routledge, 2011) and “Why won’t my teenager talk to me?” (Routledge, 2014).


He has served as a Policy Advisor in the Department of Health, and is currently Chair of the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH). He is also a Trustee of Family Lives, and is a strong believer in parent education and support. It is for this reason he is pleased to act as an advisor to Family Links.

Nigel Hamway, Family Links Advisor

Nigel Hamway

Nigel Hamway was born in 1956 and educated at Cambridge University (Natural Sciences and Physical Anthropology).


He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and is currently Director of Charterhouse Development Capital, Chairman of TTP Ventures, Chairman of Quickheart, Director of Conygar Investment Company PLC, President of Kontron Medical SAS (France), Trustee of Oxfordshire Community Foundation, former Chair/Trustee of Family Links and Honorary Treasurer of The Society of Wood Engravers.


Nigel is married with four children, and lives in Oxford.

Geoff McDonald, Family Links Advisor

Geoff McDonald

Advisor on mental and emotional health at work

Geoff’s background in teaching, HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is considerable. During his 25 years with Unilever his experience has been truly global. His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organization change, capability development, with particular reference to marketing, and business transformation with purpose at its core. Under his leadership he developed Unilever’s global talent and leadership centre of expertise.


Geoff is also a very active campaigner for breaking the stigma associated with Mental Health in the Corporate world. Geoff is married with two girls and loves the outdoors, he is a passionate cyclist and swimmer.

Francis Murphy, Family Links Advisor

Francis Murphy

Francis is Head Teacher at Gilbert Inglefield Academy, Bedfordshire. He has a passion for developing emotional health in schools and developing staff well-being. He has been the keynote speaker at conferences including, NHS Bradford, Hertfordshire Public Health and the Association of Educational Psychologists.


Previously he has been the Chair of the Trust’s Head Teachers’ group for a small multi academy Trust in Oxford. He has chaired the South Oxford City School Partnership. Before university, Francis volunteered in Scotswood, Newcastle on a housing estate supporting the local community.


He studied Art and Teaching Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University College, training in schools in Scunthorpe, Doncaster and Nottinghamshire. He has worked in schools in Manchester, Oxford and Bedfordshire. Francis and his partner have six children between them who keep their parenting toolkit open at all times!

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Dr Kathryn Lester

Dr Kathryn Lester, BSc, D.Phil (Oxon), is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Director of the Childhood, Attachment, Play and Emotions Lab (CAPELab) at the University of Sussex.


Dr Lester is interested in children’s social and emotional development and wellbeing.  Her research focuses on the impact of early play experiences (including playdates, and opportunities for adventurous play), family and peer relationships, and school and community factors on child development and emotional health and wellbeing. Dr Lester is also involved in intervention work including the development of digital interventions focused on preventing the intergenerational transmission of mental health difficulties.

James (Jamie) Sainsbury 2

James Sainsbury

James is chair of trustees of the Resurgence Trust, which publishes “Resurgence and Ecologist” magazine.

He is also President of Home-Start UK and a trustee of the Tedworth, Headley and Staples trusts, the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund and the Voices Foundation and a patron of Best Beginnings.