Pause News

July 2018

Pause opens its twentieth Practice

With the opening of Practices in Wigan and Rotherham this month, the Pause network has grown to 20.

In just five years, Pause has gone from a single pilot Practice in Hackney, to 20 across England. Further Practices are in the pipeline and plans are also well advanced to open our first Practices outside England, with Practices in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


6 October 2017

Pause packs a punch, says independent evaluation

An extremely effective programme that has a positive and significant impact and saves money: that’s the ringing endorsement of Pause by an evaluation commissioned by the Department for Education’s Innovation Fund.

Pause, which works with those who have experienced, or are at risk of, having children removed from their care, was found to improve the lives of those it works with, increasing engagement with other services, including healthcare, and tackling issues of self-esteem and trauma, and most significantly reducing the number of children needing to go into care.

Sophie Humphreys, Founding Chair of Pause, said:

“Every woman Pause works with we see as an individual and unique: we do not define them by their difficulties. Our relationship-based approach works, as this evaluation shows. We are extremely proud of the results we are seeing in our Practices across the country, and to have this independent evaluation of the impact we’re making is great.

The evaluation, which was carried out by Opcit Research on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, looked at the experience of 125 women taking part in Pause over an 18-month period in Hull, Doncaster, Newcastle and four London boroughs. It found Pause to be extremely effective in reducing the number of pregnancies, resulting in significant projected savings to local authorities.

Sophie Humphreys continued:

“I am very grateful to both the Department for Education and our local authority and third sector partners for recognising the potential and the opportunity of Pause. We have never been afraid to do things differently and to innovate. As we grow, both across England and soon to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we will continue to evolve and develop our ways of working – and to continue to innovate to reduce the number of children needing to go into care.”

21 September 2017

Pause eyes expansion thanks to new National Lottery funding

Pause is to receive over £1.5 million of National Lottery funding over three years, allowing it to expand its service further.

Pause has grown from a single pilot programme in 2013 to 17 Practices in operation across England by the end of this year. The Practices work with women to overcome the problems of their past, building self-confidence and resilience and giving them the skills to meet the challenges of the future. In part, the Big Lottery Fund grant will allow the charity to expand beyond the English border to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Sophie Humphreys, Founding Chair of Pause, said:

“This is an exciting time for Pause, and a clear indication that our pace of progress shows no sign of slowing. We have already had positive discussions with potential partners in the nations, who have seen the impact Pause has had in areas across England. Scoping work will begin in Dundee within weeks and we expect other towns, cities and regions, not only in Scotland, but in Wales and Northern Ireland too, to follow their lead soon.”

The National Lottery funding will also enable Pause to broaden its support for those women who have completed the 18-month programme. This ‘Post Pause’ offer will ensure that the women, many of whom will continue to face significant challenges, have access to ongoing support from the Practices, and particularly the Practitioners, with whom they have developed a relationship, should they need or want it.

The way in which Pause works ensures that it is always evolving its practice to meet the needs of the women with whom it works. The Big Lottery Fund grant will help to formalise this, by embedding user voice within its work, including developing appropriate channels for the women to have greater influence over the wider work and direction of Pause and wider systems.

Sophie added:

“I’m really proud that the Big Lottery Fund has recognised not only the positive impact of Pause’s work, but also the opportunities for expansion. This is a real credit to the staff working centrally and in the numerous Pause Practices across the country. And it’s also a testament to all the women who have been through or are currently on their own Pause programme. The way in which they have responded to Pause and embraced it, even through the most challenging of times, is the real measure of our success.”

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said:

“This National Lottery funding will mean Pause can help more women across the UK. It will also enable women who have used the service to help others lead happier, healthier lives. This project is about growing a great idea and is key to what we are trying to achieve at the Big Lottery Fund. As the largest community funder in the UK, we are delighted to be supporting Pause’s vital work.”

Pause in The Telegraph

Read Angela Neustatter’s Telegraph article on how Pause is breaking a destructive cycle through psychological, practical and emotional support.

Pause on Radio 4

Listen to Kerry Littleford on BBC Radio 4’s Four Thought talking about her experience as a child in care and the impact of Pause on the women left behind.  

Times article about Pause

Read Janice Turner’s Times (behind paywall) article on Intensively supporting women


Guardian article about Pause

Read Louise Tickle’s Guardian article breaking a destructive cycle through intensive support

Pause news archive

K&L Gates win Most Effective Partnership Pro Bono Award

Huge congratulations to K&L Gates for winning the sought after ‘Most Effective Partnership’ award at the LawWorks Annual Awards Evening 2016,  in relation to  their extraordinary pro bono support to Pause.  K&L Gates have been an invaluable partner, working closely alongside Pause on the journey from Pilot project in a Local Authority to our becoming  an independent charity of National scale.

Christine Braamskamp, K&L Gates, said:

“We are delighted to receive this award for our work with Pause. We are honoured that Pause trusted us to help shape its vision and to have helped the organization provide positive outcomes for Pause women.”

Sophie Humphreys, Pause Founder, said:

“K&L Gates are more than lawyers to Pause, they are a key partner in helping us deliver our vision. They think outside of the box while ensuring we keep within the box – an invaluable critical friend”.


Pause Southwark wins ‘Care’ at Guardian Public Services Awards 2016

On Tuesday 29th November 2016, Pause Southwark won the award for ‘Care’ at the Guardian Public Services Award 2016.

Pause Southwark was set up in 2015 and the team is made up of six team members including a Practice Lead, Unit Coordinator and three Practitioners. The team has a range of professional skills and qualifications in psychology, psychotherapy, social work, systemic family therapy, substance misuse and drama therapy.

Two Pause Practitioners and Pause Head of Service attended the event and were delighted to receive the good news.

Felicity Reed, Southwark Practice Lead, said:

“Our submission focused strongly on using a strengths-based approach to a group of women – often known more for what is wrong than what is right – founded on our belief in, and commitment to developing, the ability of all Pause women. Our hope is for them to create meaningful lives, progress towards goals, and contribute valuably to their communities”.

Sophie Humphreys, Founder, said:

“This is an incredible and well-deserved achievement, reflecting the hard work of not only Southwark but all of the Pause Practices over the last year”.


Sophie Humphreys talks to BBC Radio Berkshire about Pause Slough

Listen here.

New Pause Chief Executive

Sophie Humphreys said:

“I am pleased to announce a change in the leadership structure of Pause, which will set us up for our next phase of our development. I am passionately committed to Pause and believe I can best contribute to its success for this next phase as Founding Chair of the Pause Board of Trustees. I will take up this role in the New Year, enabling me to increase my outward facing activity; my capacity to spread the influence of Pause at a National level – both in relation to policy and practice – and continue to champion our work.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Jules Hillier, who will start working with Pause early in the New Year. Jules’ experience spans healthcare, education and services for vulnerable young people. She spent 8 years as Deputy Chief Executive and Interim Chief Executive at Brook, and brings with her a wealth of valuable experience from working in the voluntary sector. Jules was instrumental in the development and delivery of a major change programme at Brook and led the organisation’s campaigning, policy, youth participation and communications work. I know that she will be an incredible asset to the team and I am confident in her leadership to execute the national growth of Pause with fidelity and integrity.”

Jules Hillier said:

“I’m thrilled to have been appointed as Chief Executive of Pause. It’s a great programme with the potential to change the lives of the most vulnerable women and children. I can’t wait to start working with Sophie, the Board of Trustees, Pause Practices and the staff team to build on the work they have already done to create a strong, innovative and effective organisation making a real difference.”

Melanie Howard, our interim Chair of the Board, will be stepping down as part of this transition. Melanie has provided invaluable support and a steady hand over the past year. We wish Melanie bon voyage as she sets out on her senior ‘gap year’!

Comment on the use of contraception as a part of the Pause programme – Sophie Humphreys:

“Pause gives women the chance to take control of their lives. It creates the space to bring about positive change.

The success of our voluntary programme is predicated on working with women at a time when they do not have a child in their care, or are pregnant. To enable this they are required to use Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) if they decide to join.

The women on the programme are able to have a period of time where they can focus on their needs and development, alongside others, without the risk of pregnancy during that time. They will gain better control of their lives, improving relationships with existing children and increase the chances of them being able to successfully care for future children, if that is what they want.”


Pause responds to Queen’s Speech 2016 – Statement

Pause welcomes the announcement of new measures which focus on increasing adoption placements and providing more help for children in care. more

Budget 2016 Pause Funding – Press Release

An organisation working with some of England’s most vulnerable women has been recognised in the Chancellor’s Budget and awarded significant funding of £500,000, to continue reducing the number of children being taken into care, whilst bringing about positive changes in those women’s lives. more

Pause App – Press Release

Teams working with some of the most vulnerable women in Britain will now have instant access to expert guidance, with the launch of the Pause good practice guide app. more

A Pause Partner Perspective: Hull

Milorad Vasic, Director for Children and Family Services, Hull City Council, gives a Pause partner perspective on what the programme has done in Hull. more

Lunch and Learn – Event

Interested in finding out more about Pause and how it works? Meet Pause Practitioners along with a Pause Practice and hear first-hand from them about setting up and running Pause.more

Lisa’s Story – Short Film

Pause Doncaster and Doncaster Children’s Services Trust have created an animation with one of their clients. The woman tells her story through her own drawings and the pictures were used to develop the animation film. more


Professor Karen Broadhurst research into repeat removals – Press Release

Pause seeks to break cycles revealed in Professor Broadhurst research.  Read a statement from Sophie Humphreys, Chief Executive of Pause. more

Professor Broadhurst research reveals huge rise in newborn care proceedings – BBC Breakfast interview with Pause

Karen Broadhurst from Lancaster University has this week released new research into recurrent care proceedings, the findings of which embody the motivation behind the Pause programme.


Dr Rudi: Cycling Sexual Health Doctor – Case Study

You may have heard of a midwife on a bike, or even the Psyche on a bike that would travel around; but you have probably never heard of LARC on a bike. That is, unless you live and work in Southwark.


Tackling CSE: Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Interview – Audio

Child Sexual Exploitation is an issue that has affected many of the Pause group, and continues to affect them into their adult life. Click the link below to listen to Sophie being interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour in relation to CSE and how to tackle this issue.


Pause Launch Event

Pause has recently launched the National programme with a half day conference in central London. This was to give professionals and interested parties an opportunity to hear more about our pioneering new approach to supporting women who have experienced, or are at risk of repeat removals of children from their care.


Edward Timpson MP celebrates Pause Launch – Speech

The minister for children and families delivered a key note speech at the Pause national launch conference. Follow the link to read his speech in full.



Learning Forum – Event

Pause encourages networking and sharing between the Pause sites through a series of Learning Forum’s aimed at Pause Practitioners. more


Guardian Article About Pause

Read Amelia Hill’s Guardian article Pause Project for women with repeat children taken into care about the Pause programme.


Hackney Pause wins Local Award for innovation

The Hackney Pause pilots wins award for innovation presented by Hackney Council ‘Hackney Stars’ award ceremony.