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Conference 2018

Sunday October 14th

Dartington Hall, Devon

Conference 2017 Highlights

Our Event of the Year

Our 2017 conference was THE attachment parenting event of the year. A day full of heart, tears, laughter and love. We brought together inspiring speakers, all experts in their fields, who drive change and innovation with warmth and intelligence. The rousing, entertaining performances from the Bristol Improv stars, Bring Your Own Baby choir, poet Matt Harvey and creative writing coach Jo Ball filled us with appreciation!

Delegates, exhibitors, volunteers and speakers alike called this an ‘amazing, inspiring, heart-lifting day’

Conference 2018


A day of 4 TED-style talks, 4 workshops (you choose 2) and entertainment offering you the potential to make a paradigm shift in your parenting. A creative space to dive deep into understanding state-of-mind and how you can create an environment where you child’s emotional resilience and innate physical intelligence can shine through.

This day has the power to transform your parenting experience, your family, your community, your society…and the world. It’s an inside-out job, let’s do it together!

What People Said

"All the speakers were excellent, they all had something that I’d not heard before or a different twist on an idea I did know about."

Nick Pye
"I had an awesome day surrounded by like-minded parents and educators. It reaffirmed my beliefs regarding natural and gentle parenting. "
Sarah Lindsay Robinson
"What an AMAZING day! Totally loved every single speaker, cried, laughed, met fabulous people - and all wrapped up in such a nurturing space... thank you! "
Nadia Pye
"What a treat - a lively, evidence-based, radical rallying cry for a world where connection is at the centre. Great food and entertainment too – thank you."
Jo Ball - Mums4aChange


About the Venue

Dartington Hall, just outside Totnes, Devon, is home to Dartington Hall Trust, a charity committed to innovation and creativity, specifically social justice, education, the arts and sustainability. A beautiful Grade I listed property, Darlington’s medieval hall is surrounded by magnificent gardens. A sense of retreat and tranquility goes hand in hand with a strong community vibe and thriving events schedule.

Our conference will be held in the stunning Upper Gatehouse as well as in additional indoor and outdoor spaces for the afternoon workshops.

Dartington Hall has 3 eateries including the idyllically-located White Hart pub and the ever-popular child-friendly The Green Table - you are also welcome to picnic in the beautiful gardens. There's also an amazing playground and the quaint Barn Cinema just metres from the venue.

With the funky market town of Totnes a stones throw away, the wilds of Dartmoor accessible in a mere 15 minutes drive and a choice of unspoilt beaches in the South Hams, Dartington is an ideal base for an unforgettable weekend.

Conference Venue Image


Dartington Hall has ample on-site parking. On confirmation of booking you will receive a free parking permit to print and display in your car.

The nearest rail station is at Totnes (on the main Paddington – Penzance line), approximately 1½ miles from Dartington (approx. 35 min walk/10 min taxi ride).There is a taxi rank at Totnes Station. There is a footpath to Dartington directly from the station which travels alongside the River Dart for ¾ mile and meets with the Dartington drive; the walk is undulating and challenging for pushchairs.

The closest airport is Exeter where you can take a shuttle bus to Exeter St Davids train station. Exeter St Davids to Totnes is a 32 minute train journey.

Bus number 165 serves Dartington Hall from Buckfastleigh and Totnes. For timetables and information please call traveline on 0870 608 2608.

Map & Directions


Michael Brown & Michelle McHale

Michelle is Attachment Parenting UK’s director and author of their Positive Discipline Course. She often features in Mother & Baby magazine as the ‘Here to Help’ child behaviour expert.  She is an experienced educational travel guide and a recent fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs. Michael is the APUK in-house coach with nearly 4 decades of parenting experience. With a background in Alexander Technique and youth leadership Michael brings a refreshing approach to well-being that’ss transformed the lives of countless parents.

Talk Title: Parenting the resilient child

This talk will consider what parenting can look like if the starting point is the understanding that well-being and resilience in the child is a constant and not something that varies according to their circumstances. It will look at the implications, for parents, of how this awareness diminishes parental stress and ultimately creates greater respect for the child’s unique needs and experiences.

Workshop Title: You’re not responsible for your child’s feelings

Michelle & Michael will unpick this challenging truth and lift the veil on the illusion that our experience comes from something other than thought in the moment. In the deeply personal world of parenting they will invite you to see how your child’s behaviour is never personal, even when it feels like it is. This workshop also shines a light on how we all experience separate realities and how, in seeing that more clearly, it can hugely enhance our ability to listen and communicate. You won’t see yourself or your child in the same way again.

Jo Ball

Jo Ball, founder of Mums4aChange is on a mission to create real communities of support for mothers, where the inner life and transformative potential of motherhood is championed. Mums4aChange uses a unique combination of coaching, creativity and expressive writing to share what matters and get potent about what wants to shift. Jo is an arts therapist, trainer, life and career coach as well as the founder of Co-Creation Coaching.

Talk Title:  You contain multitudes – the gifts of living your un-lived life

As parents our rich inner life, our dreams and creative meanderings along with who we thought we would be when we grow up, can all end up scrumpled at the bottom of the ‘I’ll get to it later’ pile.  All seems well until we find we’ve settled for dull or resentment or envying others, sometimes even our own children.  Jung famously said that one of the greatest influences we have on our children is the influence of our unlived life. This talk draws on mums4achange’s work with mothers that combines coaching, creativity and compassionate curiosity, to think about how we can invite more of our unlived life out to play.

Workshop title: As if by magic… an adventure with your un-lived life

How can we begin to make the space to adventure with our un-lived life?  In this workshop we will use creative tools and ‘compassionate curiosity’ to look at what might be ‘unlived’ in our life and how we can safely experiment with bringing the energy available in our unlived life more fully into our life.  You don’t have to know what your unlived life may be or be ‘creative’, just willing to come along and play.

Dr Phil Waters

Phil is Co-founder and Creative Director of I Love Nature, a social enterprise in Cornwall, providing training, outdoor environmental education, play consultancy and research. With an interest in children’s fiction and a long career working in various children’s environments, Phil’s work brings together play, narrative and nature within a form of praxis called Narrative Journey. He holds a doctorate with research interests in children’s nature-based play; stories and storying, and playful praxis.

Talk Title: Seeing the world through children’s eyes

Phil spent 6 years undertaking his PhD, researching the application of a pedagogic method called Narrative Journey. In this talk, Phil will focus on the visual ethnographic methods he used during his research, and discuss how these provided insightful, and sometimes intriguing, views of the world as seen through children’s eyes. Based at an off-grid, Steiner orientated school in Cornwall, Phil will use film to show how adults take a view on the world that is often different from children, and that for both practitioners and parents, we occasionally need to put ourselves in children’s viewpoints to remember what it is like to be playful.

Workshop title: In Search of the Giant’s Underpants

This fun and practical workshop explores how stories can be used to engage children’s interest in the natural world. It looks at how narratives can be placed in the landscape as a way of enticing children to explore their surroundings using the Narrative Journey method. It looks at the practical and theoretical aspects of what it means to go on a ‘quest’, and how parents can create their own journey, epic or mini, days or hours, miles or metres… You might not find the giant’s underpants, but you’ll have fun looking for them!

Dr Clare Ryan

Dr Claire has been a Chiropractor for over 12 years, studying in the U.K. and internationally,  her skill set is diverse. In her career she has checked hundreds of children’s spines. Spoken at many schools and inspired children to grow in confidence in their body. She believes the more positive the input to their spine from a young age the better their health. Dr Claire has worked at award-winning practices which have family-centred care at the heart, giving the community an alternative option for optimal health.

Talk Title: Healing potential of the child’s body and beyond…

What if, as parents, the words we use, the actions and the choices we make today support our child to be master healers of their body when they are an adult or not? Our current culture demonises pain and symptoms, the urgency for “perfection” loses sight of the innate healing and wisdom of our body. Dr Claire has studied the effect this has on children and adults over the past 12 years through her vibrant chiropractic practice in Totnes. The results she sees in children’s ability to feel peace in their body through subtle shifts of emphasis is powerful. She will inspire you to trust your children’s capacity to know what they need and help you find the language to support them to do the same.

Workshop Title: How does the inside hang outside?

You will learn practical tips to become aware of your posture and what influences it. How to support your child to maintain spinal integrity and strength especially in the age of sitting and text neck! Learn how to recognise patterns of emotion through positions of tension in the body. Completed with the simplest most powerful tool for instant connection with your child. You will be glad you have attended this workshop, these are tips for life!


Lindsey Garwood & John Lomas

John and Lindsey are co-directors of the Closer Each Day Company, the makers of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap, the world’s longest improvised narrative and the only serialised theatre show in the UK. Once asked to perform at a storytelling competition, The Great American Storybook was born. Besides many acting, writing and directing credits between them, John teaches improvisation and performance in Bristol and Lindsey runs the Bristol Improv Jam and is an integral part of the epic annual Bristol Improv Marathon.

Helen Yeomans & Thula Mama

Helen Yeomans is the founder and leader of Glorious Chorus. She writes and/or arranges all the songs that the choir sings and runs workshops around the UK and abroad teaching her award-winning compositions. Helen is also the director of Thula Mama, teaching songs to mothers and babies in her ever-popular weekly groups so that mums can sing to, and soothe, their babies with confidence. Helen teaches a wide variety of songs in harmony from lullabies to gospel. Thula Mama itself is a beautiful South African lullaby.

Jackie Juno Poetry Performance

Jackie Juno is a multiple Poetry Slam winner, including the Glastonbury Festival slam (2017)and was a finalist in the National Poetry Slam at the Albert Hall (2018). She is the current Grand Bard of Exeter (Caer Wyse) – and as far as she knows, the only female Grand Bard in its 200 year history. She has performed her poetry at two TEDx Talks. She is lead singer and lyricist with psychedelic rock band The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet. She is a tree hugger, owl lover and map nerd, and mother to Sapphire, born in 2002. She is a firm believer in Death Before Diet.

What To Expect

Organised by the Attachment Parenting UK directors, our goal is to create a truly unique, inspiring and heartfelt day for you.

Personal & Warm-hearted

I felt treated like one of the extended family rather than a number. I loved connecting with other parents and working in smaller, more intimate groups.

Innovative & Inspiring

I felt so uplifted about my parenting after the conference. I hadn’t expected to hear so many fresh perspectives from such leading edge innovators.

Relevant & Important

It felt invaluable knowing that others care deeply about creating a world I want for my child. Connecting in person with the speakers was priceless.

Guided & Held

I appreciated how delightful the venue was and how many people were available to help - all the little touches, including the pastries, went down a treat.

Partners & Collaborators

We have fantastic relationships with many amazing social enterprises who care about parents and offer unique ways to enjoy life with children. Huge thanks to all our partners and collaborators for believing that parenting matters.

Get on the Guestlist

Get on our guestlist today

Don't miss out on our limited tickets. We want to keep the event small enough to feel intimate and workshop numbers are capped. By booking now you'll be assured your first choices for the 2 afternoon workshops..


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