Standing Firm, Growing Well

Annual PCN Conference 2020

7th - 9th February 2020

Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick


If you were able to join us at our conference this year, it was great to have you with us. We hope you enjoyed it!

Our theme this year was “Standing Firm, Growing Well”.

Standing firm on contested ground is hard work. The ethos of grace and truth, of providing non-directive support to the client in pregnancy crisis or post abortion loss, and of facilitating young people to make informed choices about relationships, is all hotly contested ground. It can draw antagonism or hostility from many quarters. This conference will equip you and your teams to recognise resistance and handle opposition.

It’s also about growing well. Standing firm and growing well are complementary features of a healthy and vibrant ministry. This conference will resource you and your teams through an excellent programme of seminars designed to facilitate your Continuous Professional Development. A centre that grows well will naturally develop strength and resilience in a turbulent world.

Centres are called to an amazing work in the community, and at PCN we are passionate about serving you to fulfil that calling and to enjoy your work! Please come and be a part of this year’s annual conference – come and be encouraged, envisioned, strengthened and informed by networking with others who share a similar exciting vision.

Please see below for the keynote speaker and seminar information.


Keynote Speaker

Anne Calver

Anne is a Minister at Stanmore Baptist Church, on the leadership of Spring Harvest, a writer and public speaker. She is passionate about seeing people encounter Jesus and reach their potential in Him. She has co-authored three books: 12 Disciples, Stumbling Blocks and Gamechangers. She is married to Gavin and has two miracle children: Amelie and Daniel. She loves Liverpool Football club, jogging and spending time with family.

Anne loves the work of PCN and the centres and will use her keynote messages to bring us inspiration and wisdom.



You have a choice of seminars throughout the weekend, designed to provide professional development and personal enrichment.  When you book your place at the conference, you will also be asked to choose up to three seminars to attend. Some of the speakers will be providing a stream of 3 consecutive seminars, others will give a stand-alone seminar repeated 3 times.

Biographies of the seminar speakers can be found further down this page.

Seminar Speaker Description
Depression, Anxiety and PTSD Rachel Firth This series of three seminars will look in detail at each of the topics of Depression, Anxiety and Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how to support clients experiencing these situations. You can attend all three or select them individually.
Seminar 1: Depression
What are the common causes of depression and what are the symptoms people most experience? We shall be exploring these questions in an interactive seminar with opportunity for group work on what we find to be the most pertinent themes that arise.
Seminar 2: Anxiety
We shall explore the anxious mind and the particular challenges people face when a generalised anxiety disorder collides with particular life challenges, such as pregnancy and abortion. We shall look at treatments, and have group discussion time on how this debilitating symptom can be helped.
Seminar 3: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
We shall explore why specific PTSD symptoms occur and look into various treatments. Problems in pregnancy, miscarriage, still birth, abortion and the experience of rape can make us very vulnerable to PTSD. Small group discussion and feedback will be structured into this seminar.
Ethical and Medical Legislation Update Professor John Wyatt, Naomi Marsden and Dr Susan Barnes These seminars will focus on ethics and medical advances in pre-natal screening. They will equip counsellors particularly in understanding the processes that clients are taken through, and the decisions they have to make. They will explain changes to the law regarding abortion in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and will also explore what these changes mean for the work of the centres.
Handling the Media: Telling Your Story Andrew Graystone Mix and match sessions on communication skills for the confident and the nervous, beginners and veterans.
Seminar 1: Great Presentations
A practical workshop on how to give a great talk about your work.
Seminar 2: Making Friends with the Media
Skills and strategies for engaging positively with the local media: TV, radio, print and online.
Seminar 3: Tough Questions
A practical session on handling challenging or critical questions about your work, ranging from day to day questions to managing a crisis.
When He's Making Holes in Condoms Natalie Collins With 1 in 7 UK women reporting that they have been forced into either having a baby or terminating a pregnancy, this session will examine the role of a partner’s reproductive coercion in crisis pregnancy. How does someone force their partner into pregnancy? Can we identify when reproductive coercion is part of someone’s circumstances? In this interactive session Natalie Collins, author of Out Of Control, will engage with these questions and more, in seeking to equip participants to understand and respond to reproductive coercion.
Self Care Sara Hyde Self-care is so important for us to be effective listeners or counsellors. This seminar will explore the reasons for not practising self-care and practical steps which can be taken to ensure we do care for ourselves effectively.
Telephone Support Programme Helen Webb and Mary Makepeace Helen and Mary have written and piloted a 6-week telephone counselling course for post abortion clients. The material is designed to be used with clients for whom accessing face-to-face support is impractical. This seminar will introduce the material, giving feedback on its successes and efficacy with this particular client group.
Approaching Hospitals Helen Turley Due to the fact that clients can now self-refer for an abortion, many centres are not seeing the unintended pregnancy client so often. Perhaps one answer is to be a presence in the Early Pregnancy Unit at the local hospital. Helen has several years of experience in being present at her local hospital each week and will lead an interactive seminar on ways to approach local hospitals and some pitfalls to avoid.
Creative Tools for Counselling Helen Webb and Judy McGibbon Helen and Judy will present several resources to help clients with different learning styles, abilities and language fluency to access the support they are offered. They will explain and demonstrate some of these and give contact details to purchase them.
GDPR Compliance and Security of Data Maureen Chaffe Maureen will hold a surgery for anyone who has questions about GDPR legislation and website requirements. She will also explain how to use Sharepoint to ensure the secure storage and communication of confidential information within a centre.
Sara Hyde
Sara Hyde
Sara Hyde has spent over a decade working in the criminal justice system, primarily with women, following a first career in theatre. She worked in prison and post release and now specialises in research to reduce deaths in custody...
John Wyatt
John Wyatt
John Wyatt is Emeritus Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College London. He worked as a consultant neonatologist at University College Hospital for more than 20 years but is now concentrating on teaching and research into ethical dilemmas raised by advances in technology...
Helen Webb
Helen Webb
Helen Webb has been involved with the Willow Tree Centre near Bristol since 2007, supporting clients and taking a lead in the Centre's work in schools, the local women's prison and with people with learning difficulties. She has been the Centre's Director since 2016.
Helen Turley
Helen Turley
Helen Turley is a trustee of PCN and has worked as Centre Manager at Cornerstone Huntingdon since 2010.  She has been involved with the centre since 2008 and prior to this she worked in supporting teenage mothers for 10 years.
Naomi Marsden
Naomi Marsden
Naomi Marsden is Communications Officer for CARE (Christian Action Research and Education). She specialises in beginning of life issues, and works to communicate the value of life in the public square and put human dignity at the heart of public policy.
Mary Makepeace
Mary Makepeace
Mary Makepeace has been involved with the Willow Tree Centre near Bristol for four years as an advisor supporting clients. Since Sept 2018 she has been the centre Development Worker, primarily writing and co-ordinating the piloting of a telephone support programme for post abortion and baby loss clients. She is also a trained supervision facilitator.
Andrew Graystone
Andrew Graystone
Andrew Graystone is an award-winning broadcaster and writer who is heard regularly on BBC Radio 2, Radio 4 and BBC 5Live. He is an expert on the social impact of media and digital culture...
Rachel Firth
Rachel Firth
Rachel Firth has worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice for over twenty years, after a Diploma in Integrative Counselling at St Johns College, Nottingham. Accredited with BACP, she works integratively, incorporating subsequent valuable psychoanalytic training, a person centred style and the important tools of CBT...
Natalie Collins
Natalie Collins
Natalie Collins is a Gender Justice Specialist. She set up Spark ( and works to enable individuals and organisations to prevent and respond to male violence against women. She is also the Creator and Director of DAY (, an innovative youth domestic abuse and exploitation education programme and of the Own My Life course ( for women who have been subjected to abuse...
Maureen Chaffe
Maureen Chaffe
Maureen Chaffe is Founder of Process Matters 2, and has more than 20 years’ experience making systems work more smoothly in local government, not-for-profit organisations and in the private sector. She understands how Data Protection legislation and IT security can be implemented in charities and the best ways for charities to make sure they stay on the right side of the law and remain compliant.
Susan Barnes
Susan Barnes
Susan Barnes is a trustee of PCN has been for Choices PCC Ealing.  She is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a special interest in pregnancy loss and bereavement care.

Booking Details

The cost is unchanged from last year at £250, which includes two nights' accommodation, all meals and entry to all sessions. All delegates are able to have single room occupancy at no extra charge. If you wish to share a room with a colleague or spouse, please indicate this on your booking form.

There are grant-making trusts which will accept applications for staff training.  Please do make use of these to fund your team members attending the conference.

Click here to book your tickets and we look forward to seeing you there.