North London relationship charity celebrates 70th anniversary in 1940s-style

(l-r): Lesley Kelsey from Relate London North East, Ewan Malcolm CEO of Relate London North West and

(l-r): Lesley Kelsey from Relate London North East, Ewan Malcolm CEO of Relate London North West and Pamela Forsyth from Relate London North East. Photo: Bijal Doshi - Credit: Archant

Their work has evolved from mainly advising married couples to helping increasing numbers of singletons and same sex couples

Relate London North West, which covers areas including Camden and Barnet, hosted a 70th birthday party in a room decorated with ration books and adverts for Spam and Bovril.

Organisers raised more than £500 for children’s counselling in their raffle on Wednesday evening.

The charity, a branch of Relate, opened in 1946, just after the Second World War.

Starting life as part of the Marriage Guidance Council, Relate relaunched on Valentine’s Day 1988 in recognition of its wider relationship work with single people, couples living together, same sex couples, children and young people and families.

Its work has changed with the times, with smart phone addictions and online affairs playing a greater role in why couples might go to Relate.

Chief executive Ewan Malcolm joked that the charity was born around the time of the bikini and the jitterbug phase as well as the opening of Heathrow airport.

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Mr Malcolm said: “Relate London North West offers a wide range of services to help with couple and family relationships, regardless of age, nationality or sexual orientation.

“Their services include counselling, mediation and sex therapy, as well as support for young people”.

The charity is expecting an increase in calls this New Year, as financial worries add to family tensions over Christmas. Relate London North West received a 35 per cent increase in calls in January 2016 and is predicting a similar trend this year.

Visit Relate London North West for more details.