Founder and Director of Beacon Services
Charlotte is an experienced social worker with a degree in Social Work and a postgraduate certificate in Childcare. Registered with Social Work England. Charlotte has worked in specialist roles in children’s services since 2002. She believes passionately in supporting children to experience connection in their relationships at home and school in order that they thrive. Play is a really powerful way for them to do so.
Charlotte is a certified Theraplay® Practitioner and is becoming accredited in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). She has a special interest in neurodevelopmental perspectives and incorporates Sensory Attachment Intervention principles into her work. Charlotte practices yoga regularly and enjoys the time to connect with herself. She is trained in Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY). Charlotte loves the outdoors and creating a therapeutic space that can be regulating means she has developed a regulating garden and therapy space for families to enjoy during their therapy sessions.
Charlotte has supported families, including many adoptive, fostering and kinship families, for many years and also has a special interest in children with ASD and ADHD. Charlotte believes that relationships are unique and every parent, carer and educator should have the space and support to strengthen children’s relationships creating a sense of safety and space for learning and joy. She founded Beacon Family Services as a not-for-profit agency that offered high-quality therapeutic family support. It is currently the only organisation in Birmingham offering Theraplay®.
In response to the need of many families for attachment led services, Charlotte has developed an innovative therapeutic group approach and works with schools and community organisations to deliver this programme with the support of funders.
Julie Ashley Higgins
Director of Beacon Services
Julie Ashley Higgins is a qualified teacher and former secondary school leader with over 20 years’ experience helping children and families. Julie’s specialism is working with young people at risk of exclusion and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to improve behaviour, develop confidence and improve relationships. She has worked as an educational consultant for schools to improve outcomes for children and young people.
An adoptive parent herself, Julie had experienced the benefits of the techniques used in Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) first hand during sessions with Charlotte. Following the adoption of twins, one of whom was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, Julie’s family life was turned upside down. Working with Charlotte and building on her experience in education, Julie was able to develop her understanding of the importance of play in building relationships.
Following her sessions with Charlotte and having identified a gap in educational provision, Julie trained in the principles of Theraplay® and group Theraplay®. Under Beacon Education Services, Julie works with schools to implement play-based therapy techniques to improve outcomes for children and young people and add additional resource to stretched schools, SENDCO departments and mental health services such as CAMHS.
Outside of supporting families through therapy, Julie supports local families as a local councillor. She is a proud supporter of Aston Villa and has held a season ticket since she was 6 years old. Julie also enjoys connecting with herself and her own family through surfing and paddle-boarding, crocheting (badly) and spending time in her garden with her menagerie of pets and growing vegetables.
Julie has an up-to-date DBS certificate.
Education Support - Primary Specialist
Pete Brindley has gathered vast experience in working as a primary school teacher in a variety of settings. Over the last 20 years, Pete’s focus has been on supporting pupils who are experiencing significant traumas in their lives and whose emotional and social behaviours are inevitably impacted as a result.
Pete has worked closely with teaching colleagues, outside agencies and, most importantly, the parents/carers of such vulnerable young people in order to help deal with some of the challenges met.
Pete is also highly skilled in supporting and leading the development of emotional literacy and counselling with vulnerable, emotionally troubled or pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Within his role he has explored and celebrated the positive impact of music, particularly through ‘Signed Singing’ with children of all ages and abilities.
Pete is passionate about educational equality, ensuring each pupil receives the best possible learning experience within a safe, happy and nurturing environment.
Pete has led many social skills groups and also worked more recently in supporting, engaging and challenging children and parents using Theraplay® principles.
He has trained in Group Theraplay® (March 2020) and has a current DBS.
Beacon Family Services also work with additional therapists to deliver sessions. All therapists receive clinical supervision.
In addition to training, we deliver two types of sessions to schools – Group Sessions and Individual Sessions.
We offer a free 20 minute initial consultation to see how we can help.