Cambridge entrepreneur set to change the world of family psychology

A Cambridge entrepreneur is hoping his dreams of bringing family therapy into the home will become a reality after successfully becoming part of the Aster Group social incubator, inc.

For Dr Tom Jefford, who lives in Little Downham with his wife and daughter, it was managing the Youth Offending Service in Cambridgeshire that inspired him to create his social enterprise, Family Psychology Mutual.

Family Psychology Mutual offers evidence-based interventions such as Multi Systemic Therapy and Functional Family Therapy,delivered at home by trained systemic therapists, social workers and mental health nurses. The services are contracted to Local Authorities to support families where a young person is at risk of entering care or custody.

Dr Jefford said: “I wanted to provide opportunities for young people and their families to achieve lasting behavioural change so that they can successfully get on with their lives.

“I applied for inc. because I am keen to expand our business and to work collaboratively with partners such as Aster and others to deliver services which will create sustainable and lasting change.” 

Applicants from all over the UK applied to be part of the Aster Group inc. programme delivered by the Aster Foundation; a part of the housing association that invests in projects that aims to improve lives by providing opportunities in local communities. Its objective is to develop businesses with a social purpose such as those tackling homelessness, mental health, financial exclusion, unemployment, and the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Dr Jefford has now started the inc. 10-month business development programme designed to bring his ideas to market and connect with potential partners and investors. The programme draws on the resources and expertise of Aster Group, and its people, with mentoring and additional guidance being provided by established social entrepreneurs. It is the first scheme of its kind to be created by a housing association in the UK and is now in its second year.

Cam Kinsella, Aster Foundation director, said: “Social innovation, community and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we created our social incubator, and we are so excited that Family Psychology Mutual is part of it. By working with our team of experts we hope that Dr Jefford will be able to take Family Psychology Mutual to the next level and make a real difference in our communities, supporting our work around mental health and wellness.”

The Aster Foundations Mental Wellness and Resilience programme trains and educates around 2,000 people and businesses per year to help them understand how to improve their own wellbeing and mental health, as well as how to support those around them. Last year the Foundation trained 1,421 people and aims to help at least 20,000 people improve their mental health and wellness by 2030.

 For further information about Family Psychology Mutual, visit:

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