Meet your Speakers

Jo Mitchelhill

Parenting Coach specialising in ADHD

Jo Mitchelhill has had a successful career as a primary school teacher and foster carer. During her 20 years within education, Jo worked with many children who struggled with behavioural and emotional needs. 

Her work as a foster carer led her to work with many teenagers who had complex needs. Through nurturing environments, these young people were able to grow and develop into well rounded young adults who left fostering understanding their true worth and a skill set that allowed them to navigate independent living. 

Jo has also worked with birth parents to help them understand the needs that their teenager was trying to express and help them be able to communicate more effectively.

Now a successful Parenting coach, Jo works with parents to help navigate AD(H)D in themselves and their children by developing relationships based on open communication, self-awareness and therapeutic parenting strategies. It is her vision that all family’s can create happy and healthy relationships and that parents can be confident in themselves and the approaches they use.

Jo runs highly successful parenting workshops, courses offers insightful 1-2-1 coaching, and retreats for parents to help navigate through the world of parenting and create a harmonious home life based on positive parenting strategies.

She has also been invited to be a guest speaker at woman’s networking events, such as MIBA and Athena, as well as a guest expert to schools and parent forums to talk about communication and behaviour. Jo has also been featured in The Metro, The Daily Express, Netmums, Thrive Global and The Independent newspapers.

Sarah Fisher

Coach / Trainer -Connective Parenting using NVR

Sarah is a single adoptive mum who is passionate about helping other families experiencing difficulties.

Sarah adopted her gorgeous little boy and together they've been on a journey of discovery. It hasn’t been an easy road, more a roller coaster, but Sarah says that she's so glad she chose to adopt and wouldn’t turn the clock back for anything.

During her journey, Sarah learnt to support her son with his anxiety and has stopped some of his unacceptable behaviours. These behaviours weren’t because he is a naughty or horriblechild (because he’s not). He was very distressed due to past trauma and anxious and just didn’t know how to show his emotions.

Through the use of non-violent resistance (NVR), Sarah has changed her family around. Her son is now more confident and understands how to appropriately express his emotions. They've come through many challenges and Sarah recognises that no doubt, there will be more to come! 

Sarah uses her lived experience and professional skillset as a Parent Coach and uses Connective Parenting NVR. A therapeutic approach, which helps families reduce their child's challenges in a calm, connected way that creates a positive experience for the child. Through Sarah's company; Connective Family, Sarah and her team work with local authorities and parents to bring about essential change in how to approach challenging behaviours.

Liz Thurston

UK Independent Registered Social Worker

Liz grew up in the East of England where she remains today following a short spell of living in Clayton, California USA caring for two amazing children and their family. Liz lives with her husband and their working cocker spaniel dog Walter. Liz was a children’s nurse and foster carer for children with disabilities before embarking on a career change and becoming a social worker in 2005. Liz has written for the Baby Centre, Parent and Baby Show and recently featured on the @mytwodads podcast.

Liz is an independent social worker with over 18 years of social work experience who set up her own company One to Cherish to help and support children and families without the barriers. Her work is commissioned by parents, local authorities, voluntary agencies and the Court. Liz used her 30 years’ experience of working with children and families to develop programmes and training for local authorities, professionals and families alike.

Liz offers in person and one to one online training along with specialist and bespoke packages of care for families. She was aware there were square peg programmes that not all families fit in and developed a personalised service for parents and their children to ensure they had what they needed to move forward. Her work is focused and supportive with honesty and structure and bespoke programmes to help prospective parents through learning, development and support.

Emma Spillane

Attachment and Trauma Trainer & Consultant

Adoptive Mum to two wonderful children who are now navigating secondary education, qualified teacher, experienced trainer and trauma specialist Emma Spillane is passionate about helping adoptive parents, foster carers and special guardians with the challenges that come up for them in their parenting journeys, especially those relating to school and education.

Emma works in a highly practical, solutions-focused, but compassionate way to help both families and education professionals to understand more about: the impact of trauma, ways in which trauma may present in a school setting and beyond, and through sharing strategies to support a vulnerable child (and indeed all those caring for them) with their emotional regulation.

Emma has made guest appearances on several podcasts, including Halcyon Education’s popular ‘Mental Health in Schools’ series, and written chapters sharing her personal story of coming to parenting through adoption for the bestselling book ‘Not The Only One’ (maternal mental health stories, poems and songs compiled by Rachel Mason) and for the book ‘Bounce Back Journey of Parenting’, published last year.