The spark that led to Parent Gym was ignited when Octavius Black (CEO, The Mind Gym) spent several days interviewing mothers and fathers from a social housing estate in West London.

“It was clear that every parent was doing something really well. At the same time every mother and father I met lacked confidence. They were unaware of many of the tools and techniques that they could use to improve their child’s life.”

The Mind Gym’s team of psychologists, led by Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus, combined Octavius' research with a comprehensive review of a wide range of both academic studies and popular literature on parenting.

This exhaustive literature review formed the basis for the design of an eight-week programme of two-hour workshops, and a ninth session to equip the group to continue running their own Parent Gym.

The first Parent Gym programmes were run in Belfast and London in the spring term of 2010. To hear what the parents and teachers in the London pilot said, click here.

In response to demand from schools and parents, the Mind Gym’s team of psychologists have since developed a six-week programme covering the same key themes. This fits easily into a half-term and our evaluations have shown it to be equally effective.

In June 2014 Parent Gym was awarded the CANParent quality mark in recognition of the standard of the programme. This means that Parent Gym is a trusted provider of evidence-based, universal parenting classes.

In July 2014 The Mind Gym was "highly commended" at the prestigious Business in the Community Awards for its contribution to building stronger communities through Parent Gym.

Parent Gym is a philanthropic programme that is funded entirely by The Mind Gym. Its growth and continued success is made possible by the generous contribution of many others.