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.  

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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.

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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,
Communications Director

Jane oversees the communication of the whole organisation.
Jane manages the various channels of marketing and is also responsible for raising awareness and funds for the school.



Email Jane Smiley
Call 01865 300202


Nigel Main,
Head of Administration

After spending 20 years in sales and management within the outsourced IT sector Nigel moved into the charitable sector as Managing Director of a charity providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities or other impairments to obtaining work.

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As a long standing resident of Standlake, he was aware of the work of the Mulberry Bush and was keen to become involved with it when the opportunity arose.


Email Nigel Main
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.

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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.


Ursula Howard,Vice Chair of the Trustees

Ursula Howard has spent all her working life in education, as a teacher, senior manager and researcher, mainly in the field of adult literacy learning.

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Before retiring in 2008, Ursula was Director of the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy at the Institute of Education, University of London.  She is now a Visiting Professorial Fellow there and works as a literacy consultant in several countries. Ursula is closely involved with the Mulberry Bush ‘Outcomes’ project, a longitudinal study of the progress children make over their time at the School. She is interested in developing practitioners’ engagement in research at Mulberry Bush. She is a Quaker, and convenes a group which works with other organisations to address poverty in Oxford.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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).

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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.

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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.

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Latest News

London-Surrey 100 Bike Ride

We had six wonderful riders in the London-Surrey 100 on Sunday 30th July: Emily Parry, Andrea Vladova, Ed Parsloe, Duncan McRobert, Graeme McRobert, Richard Enderby and Adrian Foster. We are so grateful to them for helping us to raise funds for our five new playgrounds. “It was a really great ride! Thank you so much more »

The 16th Mulberry Bush Women of the Year Lunch

Our 16th Mulberry Bush Women of the Year Lunch will be at St Hugh’s College, Oxford on Tuesday 26th September. The lunch is to raise funds for the Mulberry Bush School, and to celebrate the rich diversity and talent of women. We are thrilled that our speakers this year are Diana Cavendish, whose extraordinary life is played more »

Winner of the Rahul Moodgal Prize for Therapeutic Child Care

Two years ago we launched the Rahul Moodgal Prize for Therapeutic Child Care, which is awarded each year to one Foundation Degree student to celebrate their overall contribution to Therapeutic Child Care through the Foundation Degree course, with a particular focus on their end of course project. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s more »