About Us

Restorative and relational practice blended learning:  consultancy, training, e-Learning, coaching, action learning sets, programmes and projects.

About Restorative Thinking

Restorative and relational practice is an emerging Social Science, adopted in multiple ways across the UK and beyond by Police and Crime Commissioners, Schools, Local Authorities, Health and Social Care Settings, Prison and Probation Services to address a wide variety of challenges, including:

• Positive mental health and wellbeing
• Organisational culture change
• Staff retention and a reduction in sick leave
• Improving attendance, attainment and behaviour in schools
• Fostering inclusive residential environments and a reduction in re-offending

In 2012, the Restorative Thinking team began delivering face to face training and coaching. In 2013 we also started to develop intervention programmes for a variety of settings and groups:  prisons and probation services, schools, youth offending services, parents and carers. Our parenting programme won the CANparent Quality Mark in 2014 and our curriculum programme for primary schools won the Teach Primary Resources Award in 2019.

In 2020 we began to develop e-Learning CPD, creating our own learning platform and an innovative blended learning offer for all our working partners, allowing organisations and individuals to access restorative and relational practice via:

• e-Learning CPD
• Consultation
• Face to face training/coaching
• Zoom/Teams training/coaching
• Action Learning Sets
• Supervisions
• Guided self-study
• Restorative Practice Intervention Programmes

Restorative Thinking has a comprehensive offer for working with colleagues in the field of restorative and relational practice.  We are able to tailor our provision with each working partner, based on strengths, needs, intended outcomes, budgets.

Our team continuously strives to operate and co-operate differently and better – being purposeful about improving our own brand of restorative and relational practice, guided by our belief in (and growing evidence base of) positive outcomes for those we work with.


Lesley Parkinson

Executive Director

Lesley leads Restorative Thinking’s projects with NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, Health and Social Care Settings, Schools and Children’s Centres, Youth Offending Teams, Prison and Probation Services and Police and Crime Commissioners to introduce, implement and develop restorative and relational practice.

Lesley has co-written Restorative Thinking’s menu of training programmes and e-Learning CPD and is co-author of our Curriculum Programmes for schools and parenting programmes and resources.

A former secondary teacher and member of the SLT until 2007, Lesley now supports Organisations/Workforces to develop and embed restorative and relational practice into workforce strategies and day-to-day practice.

As Executive Director at Restorative Thinking, Lesley promotes a restorative education for all (including pupils, children, parents and carers, workforce professionals, young and adult offenders), promoting key life skills in restorative practice via our training and programmes.

In June 2013, Lesley received a Shackleton Foundation Leadership Award for her work developing restorative Curriculum Programmes for primary and secondary schools: https://shackletonfoundation.org/what-we-fund/shackleton-leaders/

Lesley has worked as a volunteer mentor for young people seeking employment and education, and as a volunteer with Victim Support. Between 2012-14 Lesley was a primary school Parent Governor and Link Governor.

Lesley delivers a restorative practice module with the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Medicine for Masters students at Edge Hill University.



Chris Straker

Director, Lead Trainer and Consultant

Chris was a teacher for thirty years and Head Teacher at Endeavour High School for five years.  In December 2010 he took up a full time post at the Hull Centre for Restorative Practice. During his leadership there, The Hull Centre became known nationally as ‘progressive’ in restorative practice and its application across agencies working with families and young people.

Chris has drawn on this experience to develop training in restorative practice. He has worked with Children’s and Adult services on strategic, Local Authority-wide, implementation.

Chris is a keynote speaker at conferences across the UK and internationally in the USA, Canada and Hungary.

In 2013 Chris became an Assessor and Consultant for the Restorative Justice Council’s Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) and Training Provider Quality Mark (TPQM).  This sees him working with agencies and schools across the UK, to help develop restorative practice across organisations.

Chris is co-author of Restorative Thinking’s Secondary Curriculum Programme.

As a Director with Restorative Thinking Limited, Chris supports Restorative Thinking’s strategic direction.  He is the Lead Trainer and supports all of Restorative Thinking Limited’s work strands.


Jackie Potter

Director, Consultant and Coach

Jackie is an experienced leader with a strong track record of delivering change and achieving results in challenging circumstances. She has worked in a variety of organisations at a national, regional and local level where she has successfully introduced fresh thinking and improved ways of working.

As Chief Executive of Corridor Manchester Jackie led a partnership of University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Central Manchester Foundation Trust and Manchester City Council to develop and implement a vision for knowledge based growth for the City by harnessing private sector investment and the assets of the institutions.

As Deputy Chief Executive of Blackpool Council she provided strategic leadership of the regeneration function, responsible for a Directorate of 500 staff, a revenue budget of £3.5m and a capital budget of £150m.

Jackie was a Member of the Government Office North West Management Board with responsibility for planning and transport policy across the North West including challenging housing issues.

Jackie has worked with senior boards and developed effective partnerships between sectors.  She is experienced in developing strategies, action planning and improving performance and efficiency.  A highly skilful facilitator with a wide range of delivery experience of economic development and physical regeneration as well as major organisational change and improvement programmes.  Jackie is a Director with Restorative Thinking Limited and also works as a Consultant and Coach, using her leadership experience to support the company and colleagues with personal and business growth.

Gail Porter

Director, Consultant and Coach

Gail has a successful track record of leadership in the public and voluntary sector, at a national, regional and local level. She is also an experienced and accredited coach and facilitator.

As a ‘career civil servant’ Gail worked for over 20 years across a range of Government Departments including the Home Office and Depts. Of Employment and Social Security. She held pivotal posts including that of Home Office Deputy/Regional Director in Government Office North West. She moved into Local Government senior leadership in 2010 as a Programme Director working in both two-tier and unitary authorities before establishing her own business in 2020.

She has operational service delivery experience (500+ staff) as well as strategic strategy, policy and partnership expertise covering issues such as worklessness, crime and disorder, mental health and emotional wellbeing, Troubled Families, Children’s Services including safeguarding, SEND and commissioning, and latterly COVID19 emergency planning.   Her skills lie in the development of strategy and operational planning; development of strategic partnerships and productive working relationships; and communication and engagement with individuals, partners and stakeholders to deliver key results.

Gail is a Director with Restorative Thinking Limited and also works as an executive and leadership coach. She has direct experience of the positive impact of restorative practice and her interests include supporting individuals and organisations to work through periods of change; the development of communication skills, style and confidence; and working with individuals and groups to develop personal and professional resilience.


Michelle Morgan

Trainer and Programme Facilitator

Michelle is an experienced teacher who has worked with adults, international students, asylum seekers, and young people aged 11-18.  More recently, Michelle has focused on improving outcomes through behaviour, relationships and restorative conferencing and practice as a trainer in restorative practice.  Of particular interest to Michelle is the teenage brain and how its development impacts on relationships, cognition, memory and learning.

Michelle led on the implementation of restorative practice at the Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool, training staff in the theories and principles of restorative practice and coaching staff to improve relationships with young people.

With a background in business studies and trained in coaching since 2009, Michelle delivers Restorative Thinking’s full range of training programmes in multi-settings, and delivers our prevention and intervention programmes in community and criminal justice settings.


Christine Savage-McMahon

Trainer and Programme Facilitator

Christine began her career teaching psychology and drama and developed a passion for restorative practice whilst working with young offenders.  Christine was the co-ordinator and manager of restorative practice with Calderdale Council for over 15 years and worked to inspire many of those who live and work there.

In addition to working with Calderdale employees and developing workforce practice, Christine has delivered restorative practice training and coaching in schools, Criminal Justice Services, with families and in Care Homes.  All of Calderdale Council’s Care Homes have recently received ‘outstanding’ from OfSTED.  One Calderdale residential Care Home won an award for changing the lives of children and their families through restorative practice.

Christine is also a professional storyteller and has travelled to different countries telling stories and running workshops and has given talks on the links between oral storytelling and restorative practice.  Christine is a qualified  dramatherapist and continues to incorporate these practices into her work.

With Restorative Thinking, Christine delivers training and coaching and delivers Restorative Thinking’s prevention and intervention programmes in both community and criminal justice settings.


restorative thinking


Restorative and relational practice enable schools to bring different and sustainable solutions to long-standing pinch points, including attendance, attainment, exclusions, bullying.

restorative thinking

Parents and Carers

Learn about your child’s developing brain and behaviour, alongside alternative ways to respond to challenging behaviour.  Teach your child/ren key relationship skills for life.

NHS Trusts, Local Authorities,
Health and Social Care

Generate psychological safety within and between teams to improve  job satisfaction and productivity. Help make difficult conversations easier.  Enable teams to find alternative ways to solve problems collectively.

restorative thinking

Criminal Justice Settings

Reduce offending and re-offending rates and foster behaviour change by growing inclusive residential environments and relationship skills.


Access our e-Learning CPD courses via this link.