About Us

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

About Restorative Thinking

In 2012, the Restorative Thinking team began delivering restorative practice training and coaching.  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 developing e-learning CPD, which is now part of a blended learning ‘menu’, allowing organisations and individuals to access meaningful and effective restorative and relational practice via:

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

Through Lesley’s book, we present Six Restorative Practice Habits as an introduction to restorative practice, daily habits to change and improve day-to-day relationships, both at work and at home.  We tailor our provision with each working partner, based on strengths, needs, intended outcomes, budgets.


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.

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.


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.


NHS Trusts, Local Authorities,
Health and Social Care

Improve day-to-day communications and conversations to foster more effective working relationships.

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

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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.

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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.