Patrons, Advisors and Friends

We have a number of Patrons, Advisors and Friends as well as an active Executive Committee of MAHM volunteers.

Our list of Friends, who support MAHM through actively campaigning for motherhood in their own field, is growing – Sue Palmer, Naomi Stadlen, Laura Perrins. If you’d be interested in joining our list of Friends please write to:  MAHM  Committee email: [email protected]

We also have a strong team of Patrons and Advisors:

Lady Griffiths of Fforestfach, MAHM Patron

We appreciate the unstinting support that Lady Griffiths has given to Mothers at Home Matter since it was first founded twenty years ago as ‘Full Time Mothers’ to stand up for family life, motherhood and childhood developmental needs.

Emeritus Professor Dame Sarah Cowley, MAHM Health Advisor

Dame Sarah Cowley retired in 2012 after a career which started in nursing in 1964 but which focussed on health visiting after 1980.  Dame Sarah joined us as Health Advisor in 2014 and we look forward to working together to raise the profile of ‘Health’ and wellbeing of families.

Fiona Castle,  MAHM Patron

Fiona Castle OBE has been unstinting in her support for the work of Mothers at Home Matter (or Full Time Mothers as we used to be called). Fiona is the author of many books including Living Simply: Decluttering Your Heart and Home  and writes from the perspective of a strong Christian faith.   She spent many years campaigning and doing charity work for lung cancer, following the death in 1994 of her husband Roy Castle.

Mrs Sarah Douglas Pennant, MAHM Honorary President

As one of the original members, Sarah has been actively involved in our campaign for over 20 years, including a successful period as Chairman.  Read more about Sarah’s background and experience in Early Years development by clicking on the section Our Committee.   Sarah unfailingly reminds us that, although we campaign on many issues,  the central most important consideration is always to focus on children’s developmental needs.

Patricia Morgan, MAHM Patron

Patricia is a sociologist specialising in criminology and family policy.  She is the author and co-author of a number of books including ‘The War Between the State and The Family‘  (IEA, 2007)    and ‘The Hidden Cost of Childcare‘ (1992), as well as articles for periodicals and national newspapers.  Patricia is a frequent contributor to television and radio programmes.

The War Between the State and the Family

Oliver James, Patron

Oliver James is a Chartered Clinical and Occupational Psychologist.  He is registered as a Psychotherapist with the John Bowlby Centre.  He is best-selling author of several books including ‘They F***  You Up – How to Survive Family Life‘ and a regular contributor to The Guardian Family Section.   He is also Trustee of The Contented Dementia Trust.   Oliver lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two children.

Dr Richard House, MAHM Advisor in Child Development and Early Learning

Richard House is a chartered psychologist (BPS), a trained humanistic psychotherapist, and a trained Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten and class teacher. He was formerly Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood at the University of Winchester (2012-14), and in Psychotherapy and Counselling (University of Roehampton, 2005-12).  Now a freelance educational consultant, he writes regularly on early childhood issues for a number of professional publications, and has been an active campaigner on early childhood for 15 years – including co-founding the Open EYE campaign and Early Childhood Action. His eleven published books include editing Too Much, Too Soon? Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood (Hawthorn Press, 2011;editor) and Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos (Karnac, 2009; co-edited with Del Loewenthal). Richard believes that young children’s early emotional experience and developmental needs must be given explicit priority over the ‘needs of the economy’, and that early years policy-making must not be used to divert attention from the gross income inequalities in society, and the perverse educational outcomes to which they lead.

Dr Aric Sigman, MAHM Child Health Advisor

Dr Aric Sigman works in child health education, lecturing at medical schools, to NHS doctors, and to schools and parents. He publishes papers on child health and development subjects. He is a Chartered Biologist, Fellow of the Society of Biology, Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Chartered Scientist awarded by the Science Council.  Dr Sigman has twice been invited to address the European Parliament Working Group on the Quality of Childhood in the European Union, in Brussels, once on the impact of electronic media and screen dependency, and again on reducing alcohol misuse among children and adolescents.

Anna Firth,  MAHM Advisor on Women in Politics

Anna Firth, a former barrister, lives in Kent with her husband and three children.  Anna was a founder member of the Open Eye campaign challenging the Government’s ‘toddler curriculum’ and the target driven approach of early education. She campaigns against the commercialisation of childhood and continues to challenge the ‘cultural childcare norm’.  She is passionate about outdoor play and sports facilities and has campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet in her current role as Deputy Leader (Political) of Sevenoaks District Council and as a local school Governor.  She would like to see more mothers involved in Government at all levels and recently lost the postal ballot to be Conservative candidate in the Rochester and Strood by-election, by the narrowest of margins.  Anna told MAHM that its’ ‘Too Costly Not to Care’ and that it would make far more social and economic sense for families to have choice and to be better supported to provide family-based care for dependants when income is limited by caring responsibilities.

Belinda Brown, Advisor in Valuing Care

Belinda Brown is a sociologist,  Fellow  of the  Young Foundation and Associate of UCL.  Her particular interest is in finding  ways of supporting the private realm of family and community to have a more visible, pivotal and influential role. She has conducted wide ranging research and written  books, articles and blogs which directly or indirectly explore this subject further. She is currently a full time carer for her disabled husband.

With her husband,  Geoff Dench, she worked on a project which looked at the role of informal networks in the provision of care.  The findings were published as ‘Valuing Informal Care: What the mothers of young children want”.

Neil Gilbert Ph.D,  MAHM Advisor

Author of ‘A Mother’s Work: How Feminism, the Market and Policy Shape Family Life’,   Neil is Chernin Professor of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley, Co-Director of the Center for Child and Youth Policy and Founding Director of the Family Welfare Research Group.

Dr. Gilbert served as a Senior Research Fellow for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. He was a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow in the U.K. in 1981 and in 1987 received a second Fulbright Fellowship to study European Social Policy as a Visiting Scholar at the London School of Economics and the University of Stockholm, Social Research Institute.

In 1993 and 1997 he served as a Visiting Scholar at the International Social Security Association in Geneva.  Dr. Gilbert was Acting Dean of the Berkeley School of Social Welfare from 1994-96, Chaired the U.C. Berkeley Senate Faculty’s Graduate Council, and served on the Senate Divisional Council,  and the Statewide Senate Faculty Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs.

His numerous publications include thirty books and over 125 articles that have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Society, Commentary, and leading academic journals. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Italian.

His book Capitalism and the Welfare State (Yale University Press) was a New York Times notable book and also reviewed in the New York Review of Books. Other well-known works include The Enabling State (Oxford University Press),Transformation of the Welfare State ( Oxford University Press) and most recently, ‘A Mother’s Work’, which was anAtlantic selection and  Society Magazine notable book.

Dr. Gilbert was the U.S. Delegate to Oxford University Press, served on the Board of Trustees of the Head-Royce School and is chairman of the Board of the Seneca Family of Agencies.

In 1987, he was awarded the University of Pittsburgh Bicentennial Medallion of Distinction. In 2000 he was voted Teacher of the Year at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley.


List of MAHM Friends

If you are interested in becoming a FRIEND TO MAHM and are happy to support our work, to represent our campaigning endeavours in conferences, and to speak up for the importance of having family T-I-M-E  to look after children at home, please contact us on 07722504874.

We are privileged to have a number of ”Friends of MAHM” who are known and respected for their work in lifting up the mother-child relationship from pregnancy, through birth, nursing and into the teenage years and beyond.

We applaud the work of individuals who help us to campaign so that the value of care is elevated and properly recognised. This includes a call for the end of penalties against mothers nurturing their children.  We need a better system to ensure a mother’s financial security is better protected,  whether through child allowances, fairer family taxation that takes care responsibilities into account,  protection for child benefit and pension rights, as well as access to the workplace (without discrimination)  after time spent looking after the family,  however long or short that period might be.

MAHM is a non party political group representing views right across the political spectrum,  united in the need to better value the work of mothers caring for children.


Imogen Thompson has a professional background in marketing and has worked closely with MAHM to develop social media and communications, notably during the period  2013-2015.

We are delighted that Imogen continues to be involved as a ‘Friend’ to help move the organisation forward,  offering her support  to the MAHM committee of volunteers and occasionally attending events or being interviewed.

A strong advocate of teamwork,  Imogen often refers to being part of the best team ever – her family.

Read more from Imogen here:

Vanessa Olorenshaw

Vanessa –  mother, writer, feminist –  launched the pamphlet ‘The Politics of Motherhood’  in 2015.

She now blogs for the The Huffington Post :  ‘A lawyer for a few years before enjoying a career as a law reporter, she decided to stay at home when her son was born as they, quite simply, could not bear to be separated from one another.’

Follow Vanessa on twitter  Mother Political @ VOlorenshaw

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood

Sue Palmer is a writer and presenter, best known for her books Toxic Childhood  and21st Century Boys. She is also one of the UK’s most well-established authorities on the teaching of literacy.

Laura Perrins


Mum of three, former barrister, campaigns for Mothers at Home Matter.

Co-editor of The Conservative Woman   @ConWom

Naomi Stadlen

Naomi is best-selling author of What Mothers Do

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