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

Sharing more than 70 years of specialist couple relationship knowledge

We have developed a range of special initiatives to raise awareness about relationship issues and share the knowledge and skills to enable people to build strong and fulfilling couple relationships.

The Principles of excellence in relationships education

Relationships matter, they are central to our wellbeing: at their best, relationships help us to be happy, healthy and secure.  They protect us from the big challenges many of us experience, including mental and physical ill health and poverty.  With the right support in place, meaningful learning about relationships is an opportunity for children and young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to have healthy and reliable relationships throughout their lives.

With healthy and reliable relationships at the heart of everything they do, schools improve the wellbeing of the whole school community.  A safe and nurturing environment with open communication is the foundation for safeguarding pupils from for example, grooming, low self-esteem and abusive relationships, and multiple risk factors for domestic violence.  Pupils with positive and reliable relationships are likely to do better academically and support their own families to thrive.

The Harvard Centre for Early Childhood Development research demonstrates that it is only by witnessing and experiencing these relationships that children and young people identify and practise healthy and reliable relationships in their own lives.  Through role modelling and experience of healthy relationships they learn to understand and regulate their emotions and become more resilient and more understanding, supportive, empathetic and respectful with one another.  And with better relationships with peers and teachers, pupils are more receptive learners, improving their future life chances. As Ofsted’s review on sexual abuse in schools and colleges highlighted, sexual violence in schools is a relationships issue, neither sex nor abusive behaviour can be understood in isolation from relationships (consent is about relationships after all).

We welcome the introduction of statutory relationship sex and health education in schools.  However to achieve change healthy relationships can not just be restricted to taught lessons. Healthy and reliable relationships need to be lived and breathed by the whole community. To support this, in partnership with practising educators, twenty leading relationships organisations, and supported by the latest research, Fastn has drawn up The Principles of excellence in relationships education: these enable school leaders to recognise and deliver excellent relationships education through every aspect of school life. Download a copy Here

Celebrating marriage

Marriage Care has developed materials to help Catholic churches to celebrate the joys of marriage. Use these templates below to celebrate marriage in your own parish and commemorate the love and commitment of all couples, both those who have been recently married and those who have lived a lifetime together. If you wish to celebrate marriage with an Anglican service, visit the Church of England website.

Resources for teachers

70 lesson plans to use in schools as part of the Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum.  Our manual for teachers and educators (KS3, KS4 and 16+), Foundations for a Good Life, will be available as a free download here soon. In the meantime, contact if you would like us to send you the module downloads.

Resources for parents

Parenting is one of the most rewarding and difficult experiences for adults and yet we know that many are unprepared for the arrival of a child. The strain on a couple can be very great, sometimes leaving them upset and confused.

The quality of the parents’ relationship is one of the most important factors in bringing up children. We have put together a number of resources that you can download to help you maintain or enhance the quality of your relationship.

How well do you talk to each other?
See our tools for communication:

How are you managing disagreements? Check our conflict management tools:

Want to understand why you behave or react in certain ways? Look at these further tools:

If love is the answer, what is the question?

A carefully designed, thought-provoking and fun quiz for use in a range of social settings to raise awareness of how couple relationships work and what makes for relationship health.  The questions cover a number of areas important to relationships: conflict, communication and commitment; forming relationships, sexuality and well-being.  Contact your local centre if you would be interested in attending a quiz event.