Money worries are a top strain on relationships for people in the region

An annual study of more than 6,000 people in the UK shows that money worries are a top strain on relationships for 61% of people living in the East Midlands region.

Published today by charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care,  The Way We Are Now 2015  is one of the biggest studies of its kind. It provides a window into the nation’s relationships – from couple and family life to sex, friendships and how we feel about our colleagues and bosses. (more…)

Your invite to a special occasion

You’re invited to an event being run by Relate Bedfordshire and Luton at auction rooms in Woburn in October.

Earlier in the year CEO Angela Foll won a mini i-pad in a Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce prize draw. Now she is looking to raise funds for Relate by auctioning it, along with other prizes donated by local traders.

Moreover, she’ll be the auctioneer herself – she is learning her new skills from local auctioneers and valuers, Charles Ross.

Money from Angela’s 10 auction lots at the private viewing will go towards delivering more free counselling sessions for children and young people across Bedfordshire and Luton… and she would welcome your support when the bidding starts at 6.30pm at The Old Town Hall auction rooms in the heart of Woburn on October 15. If you would like to make an evening of it, there are several quality restaurants nearby.

Tickets for a preview tour and the auction cost £15, plus an optional £10 donation on which, with your permission, we would claim gift aid. For a personal invite email:

Relate offers support to people affected by Ashley Madison data leak

Our team of counsellors is offering support to people affected by leaked data from the Ashley Madison affairs website.

After worried people began calling our national phone lines, we went public with guidance for those who have been exposed, those who have discovered that their partner is having an affair, or people who are worried about what is ‘around the corner’ for them. (more…)

Boredom Is Top Commitment Fear Amongst Couples

With the wedding season now in full swing, many people in the Bedfordshire and Luton area will be contemplating whether it is time to take their own relationship to the next level. Whether this means tying the knot, moving in together or simply choosing not to date other people, it all comes down to one three syllable word: commitment.

For some couples, commitment is just something that happens naturally, but for others, fears about commitment can lead to feelings of anxiety and even drive a wedge between them. Of 238 people who took part in a ‘commitment quiz’ on Relate’s website, more than a third (34%) listed ‘worrying that we may get bored of each other’ as their biggest fear about taking the next commitment step. Nearly as many people were most worried about ‘having more rows and arguments’ (28%), with ‘losing freedom and making things permanent’ being less of a concern (19%). (more…)

Tips For Parents On Exam Results Day

As exam results come out, parents sometimes feel unsure how to help their teenage children who feel under pressure or are disappointed by what they have achieved.

“We adults sometimes take for granted problems that young people have at school,” says Relate Bedfordshire & Luton CEO Angela Foll. “We all went through it, and sometimes we just put issues down to ‘all part of growing up’.  But situations young people face can be just as stressful and important as issues we face as adults. This time of the year in particular can be traumatic for young people as exam results come in.”

What we can do? (more…)

Our new patron

Pauline Stewart is the new patron of Relate Bedfordshire & Luton.

Pauline (pictured below) is one of the UK’s strongest and most vocal advocates for the advancement of women. Her primary goal has been to help women develop to their full potential, and to become confident and competent leaders.


She is founder of Inspirati, a UK-wide business based in Bedford, which stimulates new thinking to create energy and vision so people do things differently.

Pauline is an experienced training programme writer, a facilitator, presenter and speaker of some years’ standing. She is the UK Ambassador and a certified instructor for the Edward De Bono Foundation, which promotes creativity and constructive thinking, and this year she has been appointed president of Soroptimist International (Bedford), which works through  service projects to advance human rights and the status of women.

In 2010, Pauline was identified as one of 100 most inspirational businesswomen in the UK. She is also a past trustee of Relate Bedfordshire & Luton.

“I can’t wait to get started on this new role with Relate,” says Pauline. “For many years now I have known and valued the work of Relate’s counsellors and trainers.” Relate Bedfordshire & Luton CEO Angela Foll says: “Pauline’s energy and inspiration is another boost to our service in the local community. We are pleased to welcome her as our patron.”

Less than half of local adults are sexually satisfied

‘Just thinking differently could save our sex lives’

Less than half of adults who live in the East of England are satisfied with their sex life (45%) and 52% have not had sex in the last month, suggests new figures from a UK-wide survey by Relate, Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland.

People put so much pressure on themselves to have ‘amazing sex’ that they often end up avoiding it altogether or don’t notice what is good about their sex lives. (more…)

Six Tips For A Great Family Summer

Whether you’re jetting off abroad or enjoying a staycation, the summer break is a chance to spend some quality time together as a family. If you’re a parent, making summer plans can be a bit daunting and six weeks can feel like a long time to keep the kids entertained. Spending lots of time together can also mean tempers get frayed and you’re soon counting down the days until September begins.

But summer is actually a great time to reconnect with all the important relationships in your life – from your kids and your partner to your friends and wider family. So to help keep everyone cool this summer, here are my six holiday survival tips for families: (more…)

Sex is good for YOU

Some say it’s overrated. But we don’t agree.

Here are our top four reasons why sex is great, why we need it, and why it’s good for us and our relationships. (more…)

Shall We Or Shan’t We?

You’ll have seen pictures of Princess Charlotte’s royal christening, and now you might just be thinking to yourself whether the time is right to follow Kate and Will’s lead and have another child – or even start a family with your first-born.

Such thoughts can be exciting, hopeful, daunting and very possibly bring up a wealth of other conflicting feelings. You may wonder whether you’re ready to have a family, or whether or not you can get pregnant. You may be unsure of how many children you want to have, or you might have doubts about whether you can afford it at the moment. It can all feel quite overwhelming! (more…)