50 years of nurture
This year marks 50 years since the first nurture group was established. For 50 years, nurturers have been helping to promote and support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. The brainchild of educational psychologist Marjorie Boxall, nurture groups were first established in Hackney, and soon spread to other parts of London and beyond by word of mouth.
In the fifty years that have followed there have been setbacks. Nurturers have faced opposition. Yet despite sometimes acting without full support from government, or so often being made to stretch scarce resources, thousands of children's lives have been transformed by nurture.
Over the course of the year nurtureuk will be celebrating nurture and all the nurturers that have fought for children's mental health and wellbeing for half a century.
To celebrate our golden anniversary, we've constructed a timeline of the development of nurturing practice over the past half-century, from its beginnings in Hackney, the downfall of the Inner London Education Authority, the formation of the Nurture Group Network and beyond.
Originally, nurture approaches and practice spread through word of mouth and peer-to-peer sharing best practice between teachers. Even without a formal organisation to support them, nurture groups earnt recognition from government in landmark reports. Since nurtureuk’s predecessor, the Nurture Group Network, was founded in 2000 nurture approaches have been recognised by the school inspectors and policy-makers in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
To help us celebrate 50 years of nurture, we're asking our members and supporters to #pledge50 — that could be 50 minutes of your time volunteering, 50 pounds donated to the Marion Bennathan Memorial Fund, or 50 miles run to raise funds for nurtureuk's work with children with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.
Click here to read more about #pledge50 — and find some examples of pledges that you, your school, or your nurture group can make, or use for inspiration for pledges of your own.
Do you want to mark our golden anniversary with us? We have a whole range of commemorative merchandise available on our website to help you do just that. You can get "all behaviour is communications" t-shirts, mugs, keep-cups and notepads and more.
Click here to visit our 50th anniversary store to show your support for nurture and help us continue to provide children with social, emotional, and mental health issues with the golden futures that they deserve.
Our anniversary is the perfect time for you to invite your Member of Parliament (MP), Welsh Assembly Member (AM), Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) or local councillors to your nurture programme to see the positive impact all your work is having for your pupils, or to publicise our campaigns on social media.
Click here to visit our spread the word page to see how you can help us spread the nurturing message far and wide