Learning to live, living to learn
For referrals email Angus Burnett or call 01865 300202

Charity Leadership

The Mulberry Bush is a non-for-profit charity which has separate but connected services: The Mulberry Bush School, The Mulberry Bush Outreach and The International Centre for Therapeutic & Residential Foster Care.


John Diamond,
Chief Executive Officer, BA (Hons.), MA in Therapeutic Child Care, MA in Consultation & The Organisation

John is CEO of the Mulberry Bush. His working career has been in residential therapeutic work with children and young people.  

Read More

John has published papers and lectured in the UK and internationally on this work. He is a trustee of the National Association of Special Schools, on the editorial board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, and a member of the Therapeutic Communities Accreditation Panel at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. John has trained in group work at the IGA, the Tavistock, and with OPUS, and has an MA in therapeutic child care and in consultation and the organisation; psychoanalytic approaches.

Email John Diamond
Call 01865 300202 ext 257


John Turberville,
Director, BSc, Int. Cert. in Family Therapy & MA in Therapeutic Child Care

John has been a director since September 2006. He made the career move to therapeutic child care at the Mulberry Bush in 1994, having worked in business in central London.

Read More

He is the chair of the reference group at the College Centre for Quality Improvement at the Royal College of Psychiatry. The group has written national standards for Therapeutic Communities working with Children and Young People and oversees the peer review and accreditation system. He is a Therapeutic Community (TC) specialist in the auditing of TC Prisons. His focus and interest remain in the development of high quality integrated therapeutic services for children and young people.

Email John Turberville
Call 01865 300202 ext 229


Jane Smiley,
Head of Communications

Jane is in charge of the communications for the whole organisation. She is also in charge of raising awareness and fundraising for the organisation, managing events and keeping in touch with our generous donors, patrons, supporters and fundraisers. In addition she oversees all the hard copy marketing.



Email Jane Smiley
Call 01865 300202


Hugo Pickering,
Strategic Marketing Manager

Hugo  manages the organisation’s immediate and longer term marketing needs. He works two days a week in school.

Read More

Hugo manages the online marketing, is the organisation’s Data Controller and provides marketing and business consultancy services for the longer term needs of the organisation.  He also manages The Therapeutic Care Journal (previously the Children Webmag).

Outside The Mulberry Bush Hugo provides consultancy services for a number of businesses, organisations and charities.

Hugo Pickering

Email Hugo Pickering
Call 07836 689881


David Bowman,
Director of Finance

David is Director of Finance working at the Mulberry Bush two days a week. He acts as part-time finance director for a small number of organisations.

Read More

He is a chartered accountant who initially worked in audit for Grant Thornton and was then Finance and HR Director of Oxford Lasers before taking on a portfolio of part-time appointments.  He is also a non-executive director of Shared Interest, which lends into the fair trade network and chair of CORE which seeks to protect human rights and the environment in relation to the global operations of UK companies.

Email David Bowman
Call 01865 300202



Richard Rollinson, Chair of the Trustees

As well as the Executive Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, Richard is also an Independent Consultant in the fields of Child Care, Education and Mental Health.

Read More

He is a Fellow of the Dartington Social Policy Group at Warren House. He has a long association with Therapeutic Communities, having worked at the Mulberry Bush for over 20 years in total, where from 1991 to 2001 he was its Director, and at the Peper Harow Foundation from 2001 to 2005, where he was Director, Children and Young People. He was a Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Work at Reading University (1986 – 1991) and continues to teach on such professional training courses here and abroad. Over recent years he has advised the Department de Segurances Social [Children and Families Department] in Portugal on the development of Specialist Support Houses for highly emotionally troubled young people.

Richard completed the Part 1 Training in Child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic [now an MA], qualified as a Social Worker with an MSc from Oxford University in 1983 and in 2005 completed the MA in Organisational Consulting at Ashridge Business School. On several occasions Richard had been the Chair of the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities, and he remains the Chair of the Care Leavers’ Foundation.


Hugh Pidgeon

Hugh trained and qualified originally as a secondary school teacher and subsequently as a Gestalt Psychotherapist.

Read More

He now runs his own dialogue consultancy, Collective Intelligence Ltd, and for the past 28 years has been a lead consultant for Ashridge Executive Development and a faculty member of that business school’s Masters Degree in Organizational Consulting.

His experience over a 40-year consulting career has been primarily in the fields of strategic thinking, innovation and creativity, arbitration and conflict resolution, and ecologically sustainable development.  He has also been greatly influenced in his own thinking and practice as a consultant by a number of years spent early in his career in the Far East.

He has sustained a long-term interest in the conditions that are supportive of dialogue, particularly in the context of issues that are in themselves inherently complex. Typically he gets drawn into facilitating difficult conversations, supporting intelligent responses in complex circumstances, strategic judgement and personal coaching when the stakes are getting high.

He has worked with the leadership in all the services of the criminal justice system in the UK; for the last twelve years with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the critical interface between the country’s Universities, the Department of Health and the NHS; and as a trustee of the charity Prison Dialogue, and of the Music Research Institute.

He became a trustee of The Mulberry Bush after 25 years providing consultancy and personal support to the Organisation’s last three Directors, Richard Rollinson, John Diamond and John Turberville.


Nick Goodwin

Nick Goodwin has been a trustee since November 2007. He is a barrister specialising in cases relating to child protection and matrimonial finance.

Read More

Much of his work arises from the representation of Local Authorities on applications to take children into care following abuse allegations, but he also represents parents, prospective adopters and children themselves, through their Guardians. He practices out of chambers in Oxford but appears throughout the courts of the Midlands and South Eastern circuit.


John Whitwell

John has worked in the Social Care sector since graduating in 1969. He joined the staff of the Cotswold Community, a pioneering therapeutic community that helped emotionally unintegrated boys, in 1972.

Read More

John took over from Richard Balbernie as Principal in 1985 and continued in that role until 1999. He worked alongside the consultants to the CC during those years, Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, Isabel Menzies-Lyth and Dr Eric Miller and learnt a great deal from them. John also did the Advanced Residential Work course at Bristol University under the direction of Chris Beedell and trained as a Group-Analytic Psychotherapist, qualifying in 1984. In 1999 John moved to ISP (Integrated Services Programme) as the CEO and later Managing Director. ISP was the first independent fostering provider in the UK and provides a multi-disciplinary wraparound service for children in need of specialist therapeutic services. John plans to retire later this year and has published several papers over the years and given lectures in the UK and other European countries. John has also developed a website to act as a digital library of material relevant to the therapeutic care of children www.johnwhitwell.co.uk

Michael Sarrington

Michael Sarrington is a new trustee and comes from a business background. He has worked for a number of global organisations in the steel and gases industry both in the UK and overseas.

Read More

In the latter part of his corporate career he specialised in marketing and communications. Michael currently runs his own business offering consultancy advice and training services. He has delivered psychological education programmes for adults with mental health problems. Michael is also the chair of governors at a primary school.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas has worked in Social Care since graduating from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1988. He spent his first 5 years at the Cotswold Community as a Residential Social Worker and Household Manager gaining a Diploma in Therapeutic Childcare.

Read More

Mark then joined the West Swindon Family and Community Project as Project Co-ordinator and was part of developing services for families in this newly created part of Swindon. In 1999 he completed his MSc in Group Relations at the University of the West of England. Mark worked as a Consultant to newly developing organisations in the Charity and Not for Profit sectors within Wiltshire. Mark joined ISP Foster Care in 2000 as Centre Manager of the new Centre in Watford. He is still at ISP and is the Registered Manager for the Buckinghamshire Centres of Chesham and Milton Keynes and responsible for the development of new areas in Cambridgeshire and the West Midlands.

Margaret Eynon

Following a sociology degree, Margaret undertook a professional training in psychodynamic casework and qualified as a Medical Social Worker at the Institute of Medical Social Work.

Read More

Generic social work followed, then time off to raise a family. She returned to work on a research project looking at social work  interventions to help physically damaged drinkers before spending 10 years in psychological medicine working with people who attempted deliberate self-harm. During this time she took a basic family therapy qualification and a year’s course in CBT. She also acted as an Approved Social Worker.


In 1998 Margaret joined the then Family Team at the Mulberry Bush working with the parents and foster carers  of children at The Bush, where she remained until retirement in 2011.


Barry Armstrong

Barry Armstrong brings with him nearly 30 years of experience in Education with particular expertise in Safeguarding.

Read More

Before joining Nord Anglia Education in 2016 as the Assistant Director, Head of Safeguarding, Barry worked for Oxfordshire County Council as the lead for Safeguarding in Education working across all education settings.
Barry has extensive leadership experience working in and with a range of organisations, both public and private as well as governing bodies and staff groups. In addition to taking the lead for Safeguarding in Education, Barry has also acted as the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for two UK local authorities (including Oxfordshire). Barry held this role since its inception in 2003. As a result, Barry has substantial experience in managing allegations and concerns to do with professional conduct in schools.


David Astor, CBE
Sir Hugo Brunner, KCVO
Dame Fiona Caldicott, DBE
The Right Hon. David Cameron
Roger Graef
Lady Heseltine
The Right Hon. The Lord Hurd of Westwell, CH, CBE
Ian Marber
Rahul Moodgal
Jon Snow, Hon FRIBA
Joanna Trollope, OBE




Showing the way in therapeutic child care


Providing hope and positive outcomes for troubled children who are looking for a way to learn and live again.

feature-school The Mulberry Bush Outreach

Behaviour Support for Schools and Professionals helping those who help others. National Specialist Outreach for Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMHD).

More Info
feature-mboxThe Mulberry Bush School

By improving the life chances and social inclusion of traumatised children and young people, we create long-term benefits to society by reducing anti-social behaviour and its impact on families, schools and communities.

More Info
feature-nationalcentreNational Centre Logo

Our free alliance whose aim is to share knowledge about therapeutic care for children and young people, and to support the use of reflective practice and research, in order to improve service quality and ensure excellent outcomes.

More Info

Latest News


We are pleased to announce that following our inspection in October 2017 Ofsted inspectors found us to be “Outstanding” in the overall experiences and progress of children and young people.   The Mulberry Bush School was judged as outstanding because: The quality of individualised care and support provided is excellent and has a substantial impact on more »

The Mulberry Bush in Children and Young People Now Supplement

Recent articles about The Mulberry Bush were published in the latest Children and Young People Now Children In Care supplement. You can read it here.  

Support our Children’s Transport Appeal

We are very excited that The Mulberry Bush has been selected to join The Big Give Christmas Challenge. It’s a unique way to to double your donation and double the impact! Donations made to our project via theBigGive.org.uk will be doubled during the campaign.   New Children’s Transport We hope, with your help, to buy a more »