About Us

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Our History

Starting life back in the 1940s as Havering and Barking Marriage Guidance, we provided couple counselling for the residents of these two boroughs, in time expanding to cover the boroughs of Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

Our name changed to Relate in the late eighties and by that time, our services had expanded to cover Relationship Counselling, Sex Therapy, and Training and Education.

In the late nineties we started providing Children and Young Peoples Counselling and Mediation, and a few years later, Family Counselling.

Now we deliver services in nine London boroughs stretching from Tower Hamlets in the east to Haringey in the North and all of Essex, including south essex. Our 60 practitioners offer relationship support and mediation to individuals, couples, and families of all ages and backgrounds.

Relate London North East and Essex is an independent charity and a member of the national charity Relate.

Meet the Management Team

Our management team are responsible for the effective management and running of Relate London North East and Essex. They’re also here to give you the best possible service and provide you with the information and support you need.

Pamela Forsyth


Pamela has delegated responsibility from the Board of Trustees for the strategic and operational management of Relate London North East and Essex. Pamela has worked in the charity sector for over 21 years, bringing this experience to her role of CEO with us. Our area of operations covers one quarter of London, with all the diversity that the area brings, and Pamela oversees the development and smooth running of our services to meet the needs of this population.

Lesley Kelsey

Service Delivery Manager

Lesley has worked in her current role for twelve years, and brings her expertise to ensure that the services we offer are run effectively and professionally, and that the staff teams are up to date with their on-going professional development. She is also responsible for a number of specialist projects, which can vary from managing a team working with young people at risk of becoming gang members, to project managing an office move.

Sue Cook

Mediation Manager

Sue runs our Mediation Service, having been responsible for establishing this service in 2000. She is responsible for all aspects of Family Mediation, as well as Workplace Mediation, and all connected projects.

Clinical Supervisors and Practitioners (including trainers)

We currently have four clinical supervisors (Counselling), one Professional Practice Consultant (Mediation), and a team of 60 practitioners.

Finance and Administration

The unsung heroes of the organisation,  a team of two in finance, 12 administrators and four receptionists who underpin the smooth running of Relate London North East and Essex.

Meet our Trustees

Our Trustees share the responsibility for the overall running of Relate London North East and Essex are voting members of the charity’s governing body.

Our Mission

To develop and support healthy relationships by:

Helping couples, families and individuals to make relationships work better. Delivering inclusive, high quality services that are relevant at every stage of life. Helping both the public and policymakers improve their understanding of relationships and what makes them flourish.

Our Values

We need to guarantee our future by setting a clear ambition and working together to deliver against that ambition. These are the values we work towards on a daily basis.


Or the beauty, joy and learning they can bring to all. We value the personal courage needed to forge and sustain lasting relationships. We value the quality of relationships and we are non judgement, supporting people to build healthy relationships, whatever the circumstances.


People are at the heart of everything we do. We create and deliver services around clients and potential clients’ needs. We value our people (volunteers, staff and supporters)

Patsy Whiteside


Patsy originally worked in property and merchant banking and later trained as a teacher and taught in Further Education. She is has been a member of the Governing Body of Woodford County High School since 1990, first as a parent and then as a Community Governor. She is Chair of the Curriculum and Pupil Welfare Committee and member of the Strategy Committee. Patsy is also Chair of the Wanstead & Woodford branch of the WEA. Patsy runs a small business with her daughter.

Glyn Hawker

Glyn brings extensive management and organisational experience to the role of trustee, gained across initially in the third sector and in local government. For more than 20 years she held senior management positions with the trade union UNISON, retiring in 2017 as the Regional Secretary for the East of England. Glyn is a former Relate councillor.

Tamsin Slyce

Tamsin comes from a journalism background, previously working at the BBC. She also has an interest in diversity and accessibility.

Michele Grant

Michele is an accredited coach and mediator and is currently a director of Rising Minds, a social enterprise company delivering resilience training, coaching and mindfulness-based programmes in corporate, public sector and community settings. Prior to making the transition into inter-personal work Michele held a number of senior leadership roles in the BBC including nine years, based in Washington DC, in charge of news services for the US market. Her skills include journalism, communications, marketing and business development. Before that she spent six years in local government (Hackney and then Islington). She has been a trustee of Shelter and the mediation restorative justice charity Common Ground and is currently a trustee of the reformed offenders charity, Unlock.

Bohdan Bezdel

Bohdan is Vice Chair on our board of trustees, and brings a great deal of experience within the business world as he worked in the City of London for 35 years, for Prudential Insurance, Kleinwort Benson Merchant Bank, and retired from being a main board director with Hermes Pension Management, where he was responsible for IT, Business Recovery and Human Resources.

Marvin Wallace

An experienced Head of Finance with proven financial acumen and over 20 years experience within the private and public sector, Marvin holds the position of Treasurer. He brings his experience and knowledge of the charity sector to the trustee board, and supports our Finance Manager and CEO with expert advice.

Maggie Gentry

Maggie is an experienced manager, having worked for the YMCA Training organisation as a Centre Manager for many years. She has extensive knowledge of managing government funding, with an expertise in training projects, which encompassed working on tenders and overseeing budgets. Her focus is also on staff development, promoting excellent communication skills and developing relationships with stakeholders.

Become a Relate London North East and North Essex Trustee

Being a Relate Trustee is a very rewarding role as it allows you to give something back to your local community and support a charitable cause. Trustees meet regularly during the year to consider, determine and review Relate London North East and North Essex’s strategies and policies.

Trustees are people with a range of experience who enjoy forging links in the community. Skills and experience within the following areas and disciplines can be particularly helpful;

If you would like to be considered as a future trustee, please contact Pamela Forsyth, Chief Executive, 01708 441722, pamelaforsyth@relatelnee.org.uk

Our Partners

We’ve developed a strong network of local and national organisations to support our work in across North East London and Essex. Working with these organisations means we’re able to provide relationship support to more people who need it.

We’d like to express our gratitude to the following organisations and associations.

Become a partner

We believe that working with other organisations Relate has a long history of partnership working with both statutory and voluntary sector organisations and is always keen to develop new links in the community.

If you would like more details about working in partnership with us please get in touch.


We are members of the following governing bodies and associations.

Feeling at the end of your tether, stuck at home with everyone?  If you would like to have a video call from one of our expert relationship counsellors, that’s easy for us to arrange at a time to suit you.

Just call 01708 441722 to speak to our friendly staff team.  We are also available to provide a phone call if that would suit you better.