My Family, Your Family
Book Launch Conference
Saturday 7th October 2023.
Tower Hill, London.
An Inspiring Full Day Conference to Celebrate the launch of Laura's New Book
My Family, Your Family is a powerful non-fiction book that focuses on what makes a family, explores how different families come together and celebrates the idea that every family is unique.
World renowned Keynote Speakers
Inspiring and thought provoking Presentations
Opportunities for reflection
Round Table discussions
Networking and Stalls
A signed copy of My Family, Your Family
Lunch and Refreshments
|Booking details are located at the bottom of the page
Click here to head directly to the Booking Section
*Bursaries are available
Conference Chair / Host
Broadcaster, Host, TV Presenter, and inspirational speaker.
Ashley John-Baptiste is an award-winning broadcaster and TV presenter, frequently reporting & hosting for Morning Live, Sunday Morning Live and The One Show, where he has been a regular reporter with recent films covering the issues of adoption, pregnancy, homelessness and care. He also co-presents the RTS-nominated series, For Love Or Money, and Expert Witness, and currently Con or Cure for BBC One Daytime. He is also a Digital Senior Reporter for BBC News and was the lead reporter on The Mall for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Funeral and Coronation.
Ashley began his BBC journalism career for BBC2's Victoria Derbyshire programme, reporting on the Grenfell disaster, making original films on issues including interfaith foster care, kids who are bullied, and racism on UK university campuses.
He fronted the BBC Three documentary Care Home Kids: Looking For Love. Other recent films presented by Ashley include My Life In Care and My Life Without Skin, as well as a new documentary about siblings separated in care. Split Up In Care: Life Without Siblings premiered on BBC Three in March 2021, was a winner at the BBC News Awards, shortlisted in the Most Impactful Journalism category. Ashley was also shortlisted for the RTS Young Talent Of The Year 2018 award and nominated for a 2023 Broadcast Award in Best Daytime Programme for Expert Witness.
An ambassador for The Fostering Network charity, he is a truly inspirational public speaker. He is the founder of the online charity Be Inspired, supporting young people leaving care and helping them fulfil their aspirations.
Introduction to the Day
'IFF Kitbag - Supporting Children, Young People and Diverse Families'
Dr Margaret Hannah, Director of Health Programmes, International Futures Forum (IFF)
International Futures Forum (IFF) is an educational charity that aims to grow the capacity to thrive, not just survive, in the 21st century. We produce books and resources (including Kitbag) as well as online and in-person training and development.
IFF developed Kitbag with psychologists, public health professionals and designers to provide ways for children, young people and their caregivers to become calmer, engage in meaningful conversations, share feelings and grow more trusting relationships.
Kitbag helps people share experiences and emotions in a deep and meaningful way. This de-escalates tense, difficult situations and grows trust, self-confidence and understanding in diverse families.
Margaret Hannah is Director of Health Programmes at IFF. She qualified as a doctor and specialised in public health, working in the NHS for more than 30 years. With IFF support, she convened experts and designers to develop Kitbag and now leads IFF’s Kitbag Programme
‘Valuing and Supporting Family Diversity’
Prof Claudia Bernard, Author, Professor of Social Work, at Goldsmiths, UOL
In this presentation, I will explore family diversity in family forms to consider what that means for children’s sense of belonging in our society. I will consider the importance of race, gender, class, and sexual identity influence on the values our society attaches to forms of family, and specifically which ones are held up as the ideal. I will reflect on why the valuing of different family forms in everyday life is important for children’s sense of belonging, identity and worth.
Claudia Bernard is Professor of Social Work at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests include child and family welfare, social justice and intersectional approaches, and she has written widely on these topics. Her latest book, Intersectionality for Social Workers: A Practical Introduction to Theory and Practice, was published by Routledge.
Connect with Claudia
‘Our Children have Two Gay Dads, are Adopted and also have Disabilities.
Do They Stand a Chance?
Our family’s story and how my schools celebrate this diversity’
Garry Ratcliffe, Gay Dad of 4 Adopted, Disabled Children
and CEO of Multi Trust Academy of 9 Primary Schools
Four awesome children growing up with a range of factors that could affect their ability to thrive. This keynote tells the story of Haydn, Bella, Phoebe and Curly – and how their story has unfolded. As CEO of The Golden Thread Alliance, a trust of nine primary schools, I explain how my children’s own experiences have informed my values-driven approach to ensuring that children and their families are celebrated in each of the schools I lead. Maths and English learning are vital – but surely, even more important is our duty to nurture and develop our children into productive, happy and caring citizens of tomorrow.
Garry Ratcliffe is dad to four absolutely amazing children, all having been adopted at a young age, and three of whom have severe and complex disabilities and health needs. Husband to Kyle, they are both determined to ensure their children have the best chances in life.
Having worked in education for the last 28 years, Garry now leads a multi-academy trust of nine primary schools with a golden thread of seven values at the heart of everything they do.
‘Identity: developing your story’
Rachna Joshi, Teacher, Writer and Consultant
Rachna Joshi will share her stories of working with young children in inner London schools and settings and how she has supported children in navigating and exploring their identity through relationships, influences from the world around and developing an understanding of self. Rachna will explore what it means for children to share their voice and their story, and some of the various ways in which she has observed children express themselves in play, movement, mark making or writing.
Rachna Joshi is a teacher, writer and consultant. She works with under-threes, nursery and reception children across inner London schools and settings. Rachna writes and speaks at events where she shares knowledge, empowers practitioners and provokes questions to disrupt routine practice.
Panel 1 Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion in Children’s Books and TV
Ann Marie Christian, Senior Safeguarding Practitioner
Ann Marie Christian is a senior safeguarding practitioner with three decades of experience. She has worked in various roles and managed child protection teams, school-based social workers, safeguarding advisors to schools and settings, LADO and many more. Ann Marie has independently supported hundreds of organisations and writes articles, delivers keynotes, training and consultancy. Ann Marie is an additional editor on My Family, Your Family.
Giovana Medeiros, Illustrator of My Family Your Family
Giovana Medeiros is originally from Brazil, now based in Lisbon. After getting her degree in fashion, she studied illustration in Dublin, and has been working as a freelance illustrator ever since. She loves to fill in sketchbooks with scenes from her surroundings, and is inspired by nature, daily-life, people and magic.
Lisa Smith, Chair of ACERT
(The Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers)
Lisa Smith is Chair of ACERT (The Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers). She is also co-curator of The International Festival of Romani Film and founder of Patrin Films Ltd. Lisa is an additional editor of My Family, Your Family.
Connect with Lisa
Panel 2 Discussion: Why All Families Matter
John Warren, Educationalist Consultant and Speaker on Blended Families
John Warren has been in the Early Years sector for 40 years, from nursery nurse to now owning his own nurseries and franchise with three friends. John lives with his wife to be, award-winning Early Years trainer Cheryl, and his two stepchildren William, 15, and Stanley, 8.
Judith Denton, Former Foster Child, Author and Speaker
Having been brought up in the care system since the age of nine, Judith Denton provides insight into her lived experience to inform, inspire and bring hope to those who are in care or work in the children’s social care sector. She does this through her self-published autobiography, Foster Care and Me, and through her work as CEO and founder of The Transformed You and The Black Care Experience.
Tuesday Greenidge, Artist, Activist and Initiator of Sewing for Justice
‘Artivist’ Tuesday Greenidge is British/Guyanese born and raised in Margate. She has lived in 33 places, three care homes and for 27 years in Notting Hill. Tuesday is a great grandmother and a kinship carer of her grandson. She is an artist and initiator of a community project, Sewing for Justice; The Grenfell Memorial Quilt.
Special My Family, Your Family Assembly by
Pupils from Wendell Park Primary School
As a school we constantly strive to unlock the gifts and talents of each pupil through a curriculum that is innovative, engaging and exciting to the point where pupil simply want to keep learning more and more. We are proud of the rich diverse backgrounds of our pupils, staff and wider community.
Our motto: Everyone different, Everyone equal, Everyone belongs.
Wendell Park Primary School is based in Hammersmith and Fulham
Investment: £197* per delegate
*Bursaries are available please see below.
There are two options for purchasing your place at the conference:
- Email Admin@LauraHenryAllain.com advising how many places you are looking for and we will then reserve the required space(s) for you and send you the booking form and an invoice
- Visit our Online Shop to purchase tickets direct with payment by card. We will then contact you to confirm your place(s) are booked and send you the booking form
The Booking Form
This is to gather all of the information we require in order to ensure that we are fully catering for you (and any others in your party) on the day; it will also enable us to keep in contact with you regarding the arrangements, schedules and news.
You can download a copy from the button below if you would prefer to submit this with your request for places (you can also include your Bursary Application if relevant, at the same time).
In line with the sprit and soul of the book My Family, Your Family, Laura believes that the conference fee should not be a barrier to anyone who would like to attend.
Anyone who is not in a financial position to purchase a place at the full fee rate of £197 is welcome to apply for a bursary. We feel this is fairer than offering an early bird rate, which can still be a barrier for some.
We have limited spaces on the bursary scheme: please download the application form from the button below and once complete, email to: Admin@LauraHenryAllain.com
Please note that the form will need to be returned as soon as possible
You will be notified of the outcome of your application by return once we have had time to consider the funds available etc. If your application for a bursary is unsuccessful, a conference place at full fee will be reserved for you at full price until you advice whether or not you still wish to attend.
Thank you to our Conference Supporters and Sponsors
Main Sponsor: Tapestry
An easy-to-use and secure online learning journal helping staff and families celebrate their children’s learning and development.
Tapestry builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years and primary education.
Meet Dr Helen Edwards, Director
Helen has worked in early years and primary education for almost 40 years; as a teacher, nursery owner-manager, local authority advisor, University lecturer and Ofsted inspector. 20 years ago, together with her husband, Steve, she set up The Foundation Stage Forum, an online community to support all those working in the early years. 10 years ago, they designed and launched Tapestry Online Learning Journals: the most popular software of its kind currently supporting 16,000 settings and over a million children.