Poldark – a portrait of a successful marriage that despite the odds manages to survive all that life throws at it

This month has seen the return to our screens of the TV adaptation of Poldark. Based on the Cornish saga penned by Winston Graham in the 1940s, the drama tells the story of the passionate, sometimes rocky relationship between Ross and Demelza Poldark.


Graham always intended the Poldark saga to be a portrait of a successful marriage that despite the odds manages to survive all that life throws at it. While hopefully few of us will experience the traumas that face Ross and Demelza, there is little doubt that their commitment to keeping working at their relationship is what ultimately keeps them together.

Read on…

Full article


Supporting relationships makes economic sense, says relationship charities’ manifesto



News release


Tuesday 09 May 2017

For immediate release


Supporting relationships makes economic sense, says relationship charities’ manifesto


The future government should do more to support healthy couple, co-parenting and family relationships to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and make significant savings to the public purse. This is according to the Relationships Alliance 2017 Manifesto, launched in anticipation of the general election.


The manifesto was produced by The Relationships Alliance, a group of relationship support charities consisting of Relate, OnePlusOne, Tavistock Relationships and Marriage Care.  The Alliance is calling on all political parties to support strong and healthy relationships by making seven policy priorities a reality if elected. These priorities include introducing a cross-government relationships strategy with a cabinet Minister for Families and Relationships, funding free or subsidised relationship support for disadvantaged groups and expanding the successful IAPT Couple Therapy for Depression programme.


The Relationships Alliance members say that a robust agenda to support relationships would help to resolve parental conflict, reduce health demand, improve children’s educational attainment and ensure people can better protect themselves from shocks such as losing a job, debt, family breakdown, or long-term health conditions. Furthermore, these benefits would save the state millions of pounds.


The Alliance has based its manifesto priorities on a growing body of evidence demonstrating the value of relationship support services to society and the economy. For example, the Government’s own evaluation found that relationship counselling could save £11.40 for every £1 spent.* In addition, a recent evidence review by the University of Sussex and the Early Intervention Foundation found that the quality of the relationship between parents is a ‘primary influence’ on children’s outcomes.**


Speaking on behalf of the Relationships Alliance, Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive at Relate, said: “Poor quality relationships are often at the root of so many of society’s problems including mental health issues, homelessness, debt and loneliness. By ensuring that relationship support is available to everyone who needs it, no matter what their income, we’re confident that any future government would see vast improvements in the nation’s health and wellbeing and reduced pressure on public services.


“That’s why we’re calling on all political parties to focus on the importance of relationships as a basis of a thriving society when compiling their manifestos, and to push this important agenda forward if they’re elected.  Investing in relationships makes economic sense but failing to do so will mean that money spent on public services could be wasted.”


Relationships Alliance Manifesto 2017 policy priorities


  1. A new comprehensive cross-government relationships strategy, with a cabinet Minister for Families and Relationships.
  2. Training for frontline practitioners about relationships.
  3. Relationships and Sex Education must be taught by trained, confident experts in charities and specialist teachers.


  1. Develop a clear focus on out-of-court alternative dispute resolution.


  1. Invest in a programme of universal information, self-help and preventative relationship support.


  1. Fund provision of affordable (subsidised/free) relationship support for low-income and disadvantaged groups.


  1. Expand the availability of couple therapy for depression within the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.


To see the full version of The Relationships Alliance Manifesto 2017, including supporting evidence visit: https://www.relate.org.uk/policy-campaigns/policy-priorities/relationships-alliance-manifesto-2017.





For all media enquiries, including quotes or an interview with any of the CEOs of the Relationships Alliance Members please use the following contacts:

Chris Sherwood, Relate – please contact Sarah Osmik on 0207 554 2895.

Penny Mansfield, OnePlusOne – please contact Chantal Savignon on 0203 096 7871

Andrew Balfour, Tavistock Relationships – please contact 0207 380 1957

Mark Molden, Marriage Care – please contact 020 3747 9680 or 07791 400028.


*Relationship Support Interventions Evaluation, January 2014 – a research report commissioned by the Department for Education. The report authors are: Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, National Foundation for Educational Research, Thomas Coram Research Unit and Qa Research.

** Harold, G., Acquah, D., Sellers, R., & Chowdry, H. (2016) What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children. DWP ad hoc research report no. 32. London: DWP.


Notes to editors:

  • The Relationships Alliance consists of four charities with expertise in supporting good quality relationships – Relate, OnePlusOne, Tavistock Relationships, and Marriage Care. Our vision is of a future in which strong and stable couple, family, and social relationships are supported as the basis of a thriving society. Every year, well over a million people access information, education, support and therapy through our services, and together we provide a spectrum of support for good quality relationships, ranging from providing information and resources for self-help, to counselling and therapy. The Alliance collectively has a wealth of experience in supporting relationships in both direct service provision and research.


Full article


Relationships Alliance Manifesto 2017

Good-quality couple and family relationships, as a wealth of evidence demonstrates (please see the ‘Supporting Evidence’ counterpart to this document, linked below), play a vital role in determining the health and wellbeing of adults and improving outcomes for children. Research shows that adults in poor-quality and distressed relationships are much more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, and from poor physical health. There is also clear evidence that poor-quality parental relationships and inter-parental conflict in particular have a negative impact on children’s mental health and long-term life chances across many areas.
Relationships also have clear economic consequences, in terms of the costs to public services of responding to the effects of poor-quality relationships and inter-parental conflict. Investing in support for good-quality relationships therefore makes economic sense, as a means to more efficient public services and early intervention. Failing to invest in support for relationships will mean that money spent on public services could be wasted.
Government should support healthy couple, co-parenting and family relationships. A robust agenda to do so will help resolve parental conflict, reduce health demand, improve children’s educational attainment, and ensure people can better protect themselves from shocks such as losing a job, debt, family breakdown, or long-term health conditions.

Read on…

Full article


Bonfire Night is upon us

Bonfire Night is upon us, and soon spectacular fireworks displays will light up our cities, towns and villages. This night, halfway through the autumn, has us at Marriage Care thinking about relationships in this context. As the days grow shorter, our stresses can become greater, we struggle to fit more into the day and into the year. Our fuses can grow shorter still, and the stress of daily living takes its toll on us. The warmth of summer seems a long way away as darkness and the autumn chill sets in.

Read on…

Full article


Support for Families: Daily Telegraph Letter

In a letter published by the Daily Telegraph, Mark Molden, Chief Executive of Marriage Care, was one of 72 signatories that have called for the government to treble funding for relationship support.

Relationship breakdown is estimated to cost the state £47 billion, but only £7.5 million has been made available for services working towards prevention. This investment is vital in supporting stronger, more fulfilling, and healthy relationships, which form the basis of a strong and stable society, and improve mental and physical health, aswell as improving children’s life chances. However, there has been an ever increasing demand for this support, and with family breakdown and instability causing such devastating effects, the letter has called for this funding to be trebled in order to deal with the huge demand for services.

The letter was signed by a range of politicians from across the political spectrum, including Fiona Bruce MP, Jon Cruddas MP, Caroline Ansell MP, and Graham Allen MP. It was also signed by a range of influential professionals and experts from across the relationship support sector, aswell as our partners from the Relationships Alliance including Relate, OnePlusOne, and Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.

To read the letter in full, and to see all of its signatories, you can view it online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/11869797/Relationship-breakdown-family-stability-is-vital-for-a-thriving-society.html

Full article


The Way We are Now: by Relate, Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland

This annual study of more than 6,000 people in the UK, is published on Tuesday 1st Sept by Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care provides a window into some of the most important and personal areas of our lives – from couple relationships and family life to sex, friendships and how we feel about work relationships.

Mark Molden, Chief Executive of Marriage Care, said: “This research reminds us of an important truism, relationships matter to us and affect every aspect of our lives”

Full article


Is Love all you need: the case for adult relationship education

Is love all you need – yes but you can learn to play the game!

In an essay included in Relate’s newly published collection of essays exploring ideas for putting relationships at the heart of policy ‘What’s love got to do with it?’ , Mark Molden, Mark Molden, Chief Executive of Marriage Care, argues the case for adult relationship education

Full article


Mark Molden speaks on Relationship Education in Parliament

In Westminster this week, Mark Molden spoke of the importance of relationship education particularly marriage preparation to MPs and Lords…

Full article


Relationships Alliance manifesto launch in Parliament

Leading relationship charities are calling on all political parties to put good-quality couple, family and social relationships centre stage in policy making in the run up to the General Election.

Full article


Marriage Care; equipping ourselves for the future

Marriage Care has recently appointed several new trustees who bring new skills and experience to take Marriage Care forward in its mission to strengthen and support marriage and relationships.

Full article


Marriage Care publishes Toolkit on Evaluation on behalf of the Relationships Alliance

On behalf of the Relationships Alliance, Marriage Care published today a toolkit on evaluation to help local relationship support providers understand the importance of evaluating the services they deliver, to demonstrate effectiveness to funders, policy makers, clients and for the improvement of services.

Full article


Together with Marriage Care celebrating partnerships

200 Marriage Care volunteers and special guests came together for 24 hours to share our passion for marriage preparation and relationship counselling and to celebrate the difference Marriage Care has made to people’s lives and the partnerships that have enabled us to do this.

Full article


Marriage Care pleased to welcome David Cameron to the Relationships Alliance Summit 2014

Following the Prime Minister’s announcements today regarding the Government’s policies on families and relationships, David Cameron appeared on stage at the Relationships Alliance Summit to reinforce his messages on the importance of helping families stay together.

Full article


Marriage Care welcomes IPPR’s recognition that families need help to maintain strong relationships

Marriage Care welcomes IPPR’s proposals to address barriers to access relationship support and education, to encourage commitment and their suggestions of ways to encourage people to take part in marriage preparation or to seek relationship counselling.  This shows that supporting relationships is a cross-party issue and of interest to policy makers across the political spectrum.

MC’s response to IPPR Condition of Britain report

Full article


Marriage Care publishes Toolkit on Commissioning on behalf of the Relationships Alliance

The Relationships Alliance published today a toolkit to help local relationship support managers respond to the reforms in public services.

Read Marriage Care’s full press release Relationship Alliance toolkit on Commissioning here.

The Toolkit is available for download here.


Full article


Nearly 90% of couples find marriage preparation useful, so why do 75% of them dread going? Asks Marriage Care

Marriage Care is encouraging engaged couples to rethink their attitude to marriage preparation following the release today of new research, commissioned by the Department for Education, that highlights its benefits.

Full article


Marriage Care congratulates their President, Archbishop Vincent Nichols

Pope Francis announced the names of 11 new cardinals on Sunday 12 January including Marriage Care’s president, Archbishop Vincent Nichols. He is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster to be made a Cardinal.

Full article


Terry Prendergast former Chief Executive gets OBE in New Year’s Honours List

Terry Prendergast, Chief Executive of Marriage Care for 12 years before retiring at Easter 2013, was given an OBE for services to families.

Read the full press release here…

Full article


Charities and parliamentarians join forces to put relationships at the forefront of economic recovery

Leading relationships charities have joined forces to create an alliance which aims to put strong and stable relationships at the heart of a thriving society.

Full article


Marriage Care publishes Toolkit on NHS Reforms on behalf of the Relationships Alliance

The Relationships Alliance published today a toolkit to help local relationship support managers, relationship educators and counsellors understand the changes in the NHS

Full article


Train in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples

Four day externship with Gail Palmer

28 November – 1 December 2013

Only 10 external places available.

Full article


Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day people make an extra effort to express their love to those they share their life with. But it’s no secret that life together can be a bumpy road and it can be hard to keep the flame of romance alive.

Full article


Marriage Care supports Marriage Week UK

Marriage Care is pleased once again to support Marriage Week UK – a celebration of the commitment of married life. It begins on 7 February and culminates on Valentine’s Day.

Full article


Marriage Care announces new Chief Executive

Marriage Care appoints Mark Molden as new Chief Executive.

Full article
marriage preparation, marriage problems, relate, relationship counselling, marriage care

Read our latest news to find out what's happening across our organisation and within the field of relationship support.”