Yano — Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting Yano — Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting

Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting

Yano — Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting


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    Andy Robertson

    Andy Robertson is a technology critic and video game expert who specialises in family gaming. He edits the GeekDad blog for Wired, writes for national newspapers, including The Independent and The Guardian, is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and appears on BBC TV and BBC Radio as a gaming critic. He also produces the Family Gamer TV YouTube channel and edits his own family gaming site. You can follow Andy on Twitter @GeekDadGamer.

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    Phil Reay-Smith

    Phil Reay-Smith is a husband, dad and head of media at Ogilvy PR in London. A former TV news correspondent, he worked at the ITV breakfast show Daybreak, where he was consumer editor, and at ITV News, where he reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Mount Everest and the Arctic. In 2009, Phil and his husband Michael adopted their son, Scott, and his writing about the adoption process and his life as a gay parent has appeared in The Times and Attitude magazine. Follow him on Twitter @philreaysmith

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    Sue Palmer

    Sue Palmer is a former primary headteacher and has been an independent educational consultant for more than 25 years. She has written more than 200 books, software packages and TV programmes about primary literacy, and worked as a consultant for the Department for Education, the National Literacy Trust, the Basic Skills Agency, educational publishers and the BBC. She is a popular speaker in the UK and beyond, both on literacy and, more recently, ‘child development in the modern world’. Her first book on this subject, Toxic Childhood, was published in 2006. Since then she has been involved in many national campaigns around education, outdoor play, screen-based entertainment and the commercialisation of childhood. She has twice been cited in the Evening Standard as among the 1,000 most influential people in London (which she finds particularly thrilling, since she lives in Edinburgh). Sue is a member of the Scottish government’s Early Years Task Force and co-chair of the Task Force’s committee on Culture Change.

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    Professor Robert Winston

    Professor Robert Winston is a doctor, scientist and TV presenter. After graduating from medical school, he specialised in reproductive medicine and in 1980 set up the IVF service at London’s Hammersmith Hospital. He is professor of science and society and emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College, London, and founding chairman of the Genesis Research Trust, which conducts research into conditions that affect the health of women and babies. Professor Winston is passionate about understanding baby development and helping parents to look after their babies. He is the expert advisor to and narrates the Essential Baby Care Guide DVDs. He was made a life peer in 1995.

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    The Secret Midwife is a practising midwife with more than 12 years’ experience across a range of roles in a number of busy inner-city hospitals. Her priority is giving mums and families the support and care they need to enjoy the best possible birth experience – and she has no plans to walk away from the job any time soon…

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    Jane Evans

    Jane Evans has built up a wealth of parenting and early-years knowledge throughout her career as a parenting worker for a domestic violence organisation, a respite foster carer, a child-minder, a children’s practitioner in a family centre and a support worker in a child-protection team while working in and with schools and pre-schools. She now uses this as the basis for the training she delivers on parenting and children affected by trauma and for her bespoke parenting course for those affected by trauma, either post-domestic violence or as adoptive parents, foster or kinship carers. Jane has also written an early-years story book to enable children to explore feelings relating to domestic violence, which is to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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    Rebecca Alexander

    Rebecca Alexander is an executive coach and founder of The Coaching Studio, where she works with individuals to tackle a range of workplace issues and challenges. She’s also a freelance writer, and a contributing editor to Psychologies magazine. When she’s not doing either of those things, she spends a lot of time trying to figure out how best to parent her two young daughters, and an almost equal amount of time getting it wrong. Occasionally, she gets it right. You can follow her on Twitter @anotherjourno and @_coachingstudio

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    Dr Rebecca Chicot

    Dr Rebecca Chicot has a doctorate in child development and parenting from Cambridge University and has worked at the BBC as an assistant producer and science script writer.  She was part of the team that made Professor Robert Winston’s landmark series Human Instinct, which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002. Child development experiments that she developed in her scientific research were also reproduced and filmed on the ground-breaking series Child Of Our Time. Rebecca lives in Cambridge with her evolutionary biologist husband and three children. She is passionate about giving new mums and dads the confidence to be relaxed and happy parents, and to enjoy the wonderful first few years with their baby.

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    Sarah Owen

    Sarah Owen has been a freelance health and wellbeing journalist for 20 years and is the co-author of Bipolar Disorder – The Ultimate Guide (Oneworld Publications). Her dad, aunt and sister all have/had bipolar, so Sarah and her cousin Amanda Saunders decided to turn the decades of pain into something infinitely more positive by writing ‘the book we wish we’d had sitting on our bedside tables when our loved ones were diagnosed’. Sarah regularly writes for Pendulum, Bipolar UK’s quarterly journal. She has three boys – Harry, 14, Jonah, 11, and Luke, seven.

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    Piers Townley

    My dad asked me when I was about 10 what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought about it for three seconds and then stated quite categorically that I wanted to be a fighter pilot. That’s what every 10-year-old says, right? Thirty one years later and I’ve been exceptionally blessed with making journalism a career that has included writing about flying a fighter jet. I’ve been lucky to have travelled the world writing about ridiculous adventures and interviewing my heroes of cinema, music and popular culture for Loaded, Sorted magazine, teen lifestyle mag Flipside and a host of national publications and international websites. For most of this time, children never crossed my mind. Then with a few ‘worthier’ commissions under my belt, including childbirth fatalities in Africa and infant poverty and reportage stories from Nepal and Peru, I also found myself in a long-term relationship. Fatherhood came with sheer joy, fear and daily trial by error when Jake was born. Now his younger sister Willow is approaching her second birthday, Jake’s just started school and suddenly my life is complete and full of daily learning for all of us. Fatherhood is the best experience, above and beyond flying the fighter jet.

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    Jo Hemmings

    Jo Hemmings is a Behavioural Psychologist, specialising in the Media as well as a Dating and Relationship Coach and TV and radio personality. She has degrees from the universities of Warwick and London. Jo is the UK’s best known and respected celebrity psychologist and was the UK’s first Dating Coach. She is a regular psychologist on ITV’s Daybreak and is the sex therapist on ITV’s This Morning. She has also been the Behavioural Psychologist on C4’s Big Brother’s Little Brother since 2008 appearing on all series including Big Brother 11 and Ultimate Big Brother. Jo helps behind the scenes, in the contestant selection process, by giving psychological advice and assessment to reality TV producers and contestants, both during the selection procedure and the series. Recent work includes being the psychologist for Katie Price’s reality TV series Signed by Katie, Amy Winehouse: The Untold Story and Whitney’s Addictions: Death of a Diva for Channel 5 and as the Dating Coach on Sky 1’s series The Love Machine and C4’s Jewish Mother of the Year to be broadcast in autumn, 2012. Jo has two sons.

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    Liz Fraser

    Liz Fraser is the best- selling author of three funny, honest books about raising kids and surviving family life. She is also a parenting/family commentator on BBC Breakfast news, ITV1′s Daybreak and This Morning, Sky News and many others. As well as this Liz is a BBC Radio presenter and television presenter. She is a Cambridge science graduate and mother of three who regularly contributes to many TV and radio programmes, writes features and columns for national media and is currently working on her next two books. She is also a key panel member and media spokesperson for The Centre for The Modern Family,and authored its first report in 2011.

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    Lianne Kolirin

    In between juggling school runs and playdates, freelance journalist Lianne Kolirin writes for a range of publications and websites, including The Daily Express, The Mail On Sunday, Baby London and Parentdish. She also blogs about family-friendly events at visitlondon.com. Despite having two degrees and a career, her world was upended when her first son was born in 2003. ‘I was completely ignorant of everything baby-related,’ she says. ‘I read countless books and websites for advice on breastfeeding, teething and potty-training, but in practice mostly muddled through.’ Lianne and her husband now have two more boys. There is always plenty of drama, but her writing keeps her sane.

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    Charlie Swinbourn

    Charlie Swinbourne is a freelance journalist, scriptwriter and Dad. Charlie grew up in a deaf family, signing and speaking by equal measure, and went on to feed this into journalism for the Guardian, BBC Online and his own website for deaf people, The Limping Chicken. Charlie has worked in television for Channel 4 and the BBC and has appeared on Radio 4 and BBC Breakfast News. He has also written plays and short films featuring deaf characters, winning an ITV Writers Award in 2007 for his first script, a comedy called ‘Coming Out.’ Charlie has two young daughters and recently swapped city life in London for the countryside of Yorkshire.

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    Ursula Hirschkorn

    While I have rather more years of experience of writing for magazines and newspapers than I might like to admit, I suspect that my most recent challenge of attempting to bring up four little boys qualifies me far more than any journalistic achievements to pontificate on child rearing. That said my years of contributing to titles as diverse as The Daily Mail, Parentdish, The Independent, NHS Choices, Conde Nast Bride, Woman, Ready for Ten and Made for Mums, has at least gifted me the ability to string a sentence or two together. I have also graced the GMTV sofa and held forth during many a radio debate on LBC and BBC Five Live, proving I can talk as well as write.

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    Esther Rantzen CBE

    Esther Rantzen was born in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, and graduated from Somerville College Oxford with a degree in English. She joined the BBC as a sound effects assistant in radio, then became a researcher in television, and in 1968 became a researcher/reporter for Bernard Braden’s consumer programme, Braden’s Week. When Bernard Braden went back to Canada, in 1973 Esther became the producer/presenter of the consumer programme That’s Life! which ran for 21 years, and drew audiences of over 18 million. It achieved fame, (and notoriety) for its talking dogs, Jobsworth Awards and campaigns on behalf of abused children, organ transplants, safe playgrounds, hospital patients and to provide justice for consumers. Esther also created the documentary series The Big Time which discovered singer Sheena Easton, invented the Children of Courage segment of Children in Need, and Hearts of Gold which ran for seven years, honouring unsung heroes and heroines. Esther presented her daily talk show “Esther” on BBC2 for seven years, and “That’s Esther” on ITV. She has made a number of pioneering programmes on child birth, mental health, drug abuse, and child abuse (in the campaigning series of programmes, Childwatch). In 1986 Esther invented the concept of ChildLine, (the children’s helpline which was launched on Childwatch), which she then chaired for twenty years. She is currently President of ChildLine, is a trained volunteer counsellor, and is a Trustee of the NSPCC since its merger with ChildLine in 2005. She is a Patron of a number of other charities including the Red Balloon to recover bullied children, and she helped to found the Association of Young People with ME, of which she is President. Esther has received a number of awards, including the OBE for services to broadcasting, and the CBE for services to children. She received the Royal Television Society’s Special Judges’ Award for Journalism, and was received into their Hall of Fame. In addition she was given the Dimbleby award from BAFTA, (the first woman to receive it), the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television, the Snowdon award for services to disabled people, has 5 honorary doctorates and has been made an honorary Fellow of Somerville College. Esther has appeared in Strictly Come Dancing for the BBC, and the jungle for ITV. She stood at the 2010 General Election as an Independent candidate for Luton South. In 2011 Esther published her book “Running Out of Tears” (The Robson Press) to celebrate ChildLine’s 25th Anniversary.

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    Thomas Murphy

    Thomas Murphy is books reviewer for Flipside, a science and entertainment magazine for teens. He lives in south London with his partner and a small human-shaped package of rocket fuel who has now reached the age of seven. Previously Thomas wrote and performed in children’s shows for schools and small theatres in south-east London and was instrumental in the development of a drama therapy scheme for mentally disabled and elderly people in Essex. As an actor, Thomas has appeared in various television, film and theatre productions over the years. He has no time for fame and its vagaries, though, spending most of it trying to decipher the distorted logic that emanates from the immaculate head of his son… as well as picking up pants and socks from the floor, ironing school shirts, slipping on toy cars, etc.

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    Sophia Milburn

    Sophia Milburn left school to train as an actress at The Webber Douglas Academy in London and thought she’d be hitting Hollywood in no time at all. Instead, she spent a good ten years juggling relentless waitressing and temping jobs whilst she performed fringe plays in the back rooms of seedy pubs. She decided to put the Hollywood dream on the back burner when she hit thirty, and changed course. After marrying a wonderful man she took a leap into the unknown, moving from the city to the country to start a family. So far, her family consists of wonderful husband – known as ‘P’, a black pug called Prune, and their latest addition, Louis, a six week old bouncing baby boy. These days, Sophia is still juggling, but her circus act is very different. Whilst holding down a full time job as an illustrator; she works freelance for a web design agency; does voice over work; provides a personal training service; paints murals; manages a glamping company and now, answers to master Louis’ every waking need. As a Yanoist, Sophia is throwing one further ball into the air, attempting to bring some useful feedback on products for mums and their little monkeys. Drumroll please…

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    Oliver James

    Oliver James is best known for his frequent broadcasting appearances and his bestselling books, They F*** You Up – How to survive family life (2002) and Affluenza – How to be successful and stay sane (2007). His other titles include How Not To F*** Them Up (2010) for parents of small children and Contented Dementia (2009) for carers of people with various forms of dementia. After a degree in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University and training as a child clinical psychologist, Oliver worked in a mental hospital for six years before becoming an author, journalist (he is a columnist for the Guardian Family section), radio broadcaster and television presenter. Oliver has acted as an advisor on social policy to both Labour and Tory parties and lives with his wife and two children (aged 9 and 6) in Oxfordshire. For more information about Oliver’s work go to selfishcapitalist.com.

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    Professor Jo Boaler

    Jo Boaler started her career as a secondary maths teacher in inner city London. Since then she has been a researcher, lecturer and professor of maths education in England and a professor of maths education at Stanford University in California.Jo’s award winning research focuses upon different teaching approaches, considering the impact they have on students’ enjoyment and learning. Her research has appeared in newspapers across the world including The Times, The Guardian and The Independent in the UK, and The Wall Street Journal in the US and she regularly appears on radio in England and the US.Jo has spent the last few years working as the Marie Curie Chair of Mathematics Education at the University of Sussex, and now as a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, California. Her latest book, The Elephant in the Classroom. Helping Children Learn and Love Maths (2009) published by Souvenir Press, is written for parents. It sets out the nature of good teaching approaches and explains the ways that children can be encouraged to enjoy and be successful with maths. Jo lives in Palo Alto, California with her two daughters aged five and nine, and she is an avid West Bromwich Albion supporter!For more information on Jo’s work visit http://ed.stanford.edu/faculty/joboaler or www.joboaler.com

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    Erin Kelly

    Erin has worked as a journalist since 1999, and has been freelance for the last ten. Her work has appeared in Red, Marie Claire, Easy Living, Glamour, Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan. She has also written for newspapers includnig The Sunday Times, The Express, The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and The Mirror. She is currently a columnist for Mother and Baby magazine. She is the author of two novels, The Poison Tree, which was a Richard and Judy Summer Pick and is currently being filmed for ITV, and The Sick Rose, which was published last year. A third book, The Burning Air, is out in January 2013 and her fourth is in progress. Erin lives in north London with her husband and three-year-old daughter. www.twitter.com/mserinkelly

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    Leah Hardy

    Leah Hardy is a freelance journalist who has worked for most newspapers in the UK, including the Times, Guardian, Daily Mail and Daily Express. She works for magazines including Mother and Baby, Red and Easy Living. A former editor of Cosmopolitan, Leah chose to go freelance when she had her first child ten years ago. She now has two children, Henry, 10 and Cecily, seven, and is stepmother to Emily, who is 20. She lives in London.

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    Jack Oughton

    Jack Oughton is freelance photojournalist and advertising writer. He has contributed to publications including FHM, Empire, The Independent and Computer active. Jack is also a semi-professional photographer specialising in portrait photography and shooting the ambient environment. He’s also a composer and electronic music artist, working under the name of Xij and chasing the dream of scoring film soundtracks for Hollywood. Jack is passionate about helping young people find and do what they really want to do with their lives, and is a music tutor at a charity that provides musical tuition to disadvantaged young people. He may be better known online by another of his aliases, Koukouvaya, under which he does most of his work. You can follow Jack on Twitter at twitter.com/koukouvaya.

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    Fiona McDonald

    Since qualifying as a nutritionist (Dip.ION, M.BANT) in 2006, Fiona has worked in areas ranging from mental health to sports nutrition, weight loss and fertility. A love of good food led her to start writing cookbooks with nutritionist Patrick Holford. Their titles include The Holford Low GL Diet Cookbook (2005, 2010), The Holford Nine Day Liver Detox Diet (2007), Smart Food for Smart Kids (2007), Food Glorious Food (2008), The Perfect Pregnancy Cookbook (2010) and The Ten Secrets of Superhealthy People Cookbook (2012), all published by LittleBrown. As a mother, Fiona knows only too well the difficulties parents face and aims to provide practical nutritional information along with quick and easy recipes to help you give your child the best start in life. Fiona lives in London with her husband and her two-year old-son, who refuses to eat broccoli.

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    Jessica Wilson

    Jessica graduated from Tufts University in Boston with a BA in Child Studies. Combining her academic expertise with her interest in media, she put her degree to work developing and producing children’s programming for the BBC. After more than eight years of working across factual and entertainment genres, Jessica made the switch into the independent sector taking a bespoke role for Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment. Her responsibilities spanned Europe and the US, managing five children who made up a junior pop group. She also worked on the TV phenomenon American Idols, including touring the US with the show. Most recently Jessica returned to her role of series producer for The Apprentice (series five) and the highly acclaimed Gimme A Break. Since the birth of her baby girl Jessica has swapped professional life for the 24-hour job of looking after a newborn.

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    Mark Lynas

    Mark Lynas is the author of three major books on saving the environment. The God Species: Saving the planet in the age of humans (2011), Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet (2007) and High Tide: News from a warming world (2004)High Tide was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Award for Non-Fiction, and short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Six Degrees was long-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2008, and won the prestigious Royal Society Prize for Science Books in the same year. Six Degrees became a TV hit for National Geographic, whose Six Degrees Could Change the World – voiced by Alec Baldwin – has been watched by tens of millions around the globe on the National Geographic Channel. The book has now been translated into 22 languages around the world.In November 2009 Mark was appointed advisor on climate change to the then President of the Maldives, His Excellency Mohammed Nasheed, and was involved in the Maldives’ effort to be the first carbon neutral country on Earth by 2020. He is a frequent speaker around the world on climate change science and policy, focusing in particular on how carbon neutral targets can break the international logjam on climate mitigation. As well as how emissions reduction should be seen as an opportunity not a sacrifice. Mark is also a Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment.Mark lives in Oxford with his wife Maria and two children, Tom and Rosa. For more information about Mark’s work go to www.marklynas.org

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    Professor Jacqueline Barnes

    After a degree in Psychology at University College London, varied employment in finance, advertising, photography, interior design and care of the elderly, Jacqueline trained to be a School Psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, returning soon afterwards to England to complete her doctorate at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, University of London.Since then she has conducted research in London, Boston, Chicago and more recently across England. Her work focuses on applying rigorous methods to real life questions such as the impact of volunteer home-visiting and of the government’s Sure Start programmes on parents and children, the manner in which women with breast cancer share information with their children, the ways that the neighbourhood can influence family life and child development, the impact of child care use in infancy and the preschool years for parents and their children, and whether it is possible to introduce structured nurse home-visiting into the NHS in England.After employment at the University of London and Harvard Medical School, for the past nine years she has been a Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of  London. Jacqueline has two sons aged 24 and 29. (http://www.iscfsi.bbk.ac.uk/people/professor-jacqueline-barnes). 

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    The Strattons

    ‘Going out’ since 1993, married in 2001, first son born in 2002, second son born in 2007 – all normal so far… Then Jacob, our second son contracted meningitis at six weeks old, (no rash,  as parents we all know about that one right?). To cut a long story short, it wasn’t picked up by the out-of-hours doctors. Got to hospital with 30 minutes to spare. After a traumatic week in our local hospital and after a blood transfusion, Jacob was assessed and transferred to the Evelina Children’s hospital where he was on life support for four days. The outcome – extensive brain damage and a new perspective on life.Jacob turned five in February this year and we realise we are only at the start of our journey. We will share our experiences through this blog and if you’ve got any questions, please, please do ask.We have set up www.and-me.org.uk a community for parents of disabled children.’


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    Olivia Heath

    ‘Ambitious, pro-active and diligent are three words I would use to describe myself. I was awarded a first in Journalism with Media and Cultural Studies from Kingston University. While there I was news editor for the award-winning student newspaper, The River and was awarded Journalism Undergraduate Student of the Year. I also attended the Catch 22 Academy.My passion for journalism developed in secondary school when I worked alongside BBC magazine’s team to create a glossy magazine. Since then, I’ve had placements at Pride, First Light and Radio Jackie and have also had my work published in the Guardian. I’m currently studying NCTJ accredited MA Journalism at Brunel University. I have a keen interest in current affairs, youth culture, society and health and dabble in the world of entertainment from time to time! I love writing, reading, talking and laughing – it’s good for the heart! And I’m really looking forward to going on this journey with Yano.

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    Max Barua

    ‘Glamour, FHM, GQ and Grazia… Oh, no, no, they’re not publications I’ve written for. In fact, while flicking through those beautiful glossies and desperately wishing it was my name credited down the side in impossibly tiny ink, I found a small piece on Catch 22 Academy. After my GCSEs, I left school with my four-month-old baby and absolutely no idea how to get to where I wanted to be. After seeing that advertisement I decided to intern for the magazine’s cohort and had a short but incredibly useful time there. I learnt all about how to break into the world of journalism and how to keep up your bravado when a thousand and one editors shoot you down (an invaluable lesson, I assure you). Since then I’ve worked on Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth and Top Santé to name a few. I’ve had some of my work published and thrillingly had my name printed on the masthead as well as down the side of the page. I love good food, good books and bad weather (it gives me an excuse for a duvet day). I also have a slightly embarrassing obsession with cleaning. After freelancing for goodness knows how long and juggling the role that comes with young parenthood, I’ve found myself here. And I don’t plan on going anywhere.’