Who we are.

Our values.

We provide the space for you to decide what you want and need

We give tools and techniques to empower and strengthen

We believe that you should be and stay in control

We listen and we hear

We’re invested and involved: We journey with you

We create a sense of belonging 

We are open minded and think outside the box

We give you safe space to learn and grow

We trust and believe in you and your journey

Next Chapter are amazing, they’ve really given me the confidence to pursue my dreams. The way I want to.

Our people.

Claire Owens

Founder, Senior Practitioner, Coach and Lead Tutor

Natalie Wojcik

Associate Counsellor

Julie Palmer

Healthy Relationships Practitioner

Our Mentor-Coaches

Walk the journey with you, helping you to gain clarity over what you want

Support you to explore options and opportunities

‘Check in’, enabling you to feel supported

Hold you to account over the actions you set yourself

Support you to complete Next Chapter Courses and workbooks, reinforcing learning and skills

Support you in finding and developing tools, techniques, knowledge and skills to overcome obstacles

Offer encouragement to help you build confidence

Claire-Louise Owens

Founder, Senior Practitioner, Coach and Lead Tutor

I am the founder of Next Chapter, which is the vision of my 13 year-old self. At that age I knew what support I and my family needed, however, struggled to access it, which ignited my passion to create a service that offers a holistic approach to wellbeing, seeing each person as an individual; their strength, courage, potential and lending some self belief until they summons it from within.  

 My philosophy is ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and feel incredibly lucky to consistently meet likeminded people who are as equally passionate about our service as I am, who support the growth of Next Chapter.

I have over 28 years experience supporting young people, adults and families across Wirral and am now old enough to see second generations coming through!  My work has extended across the UK and internationally, which has given me some amazing opportunities to reach different communities, learning, growing and developing as an individual and practitioner, as a result. 

I am a qualified Mentor, Coach, Youth Worker, Holistic therapist and Well-being practitioner, holding teaching qualifications in post-14 education. I love that I can bring all these skills together, in one package that allows me to reach people in a variety of ways and bring education and well-being together.  My focus is around mental health, personal development, well-being and SEN, seeing each person as an individual and building a wrap around package of support, to help them achieve their goals. 

I have been a lead professional on multiple international research projects around mental health and well-being, winning several awards for innovative and excellence in practice, which gives me a huge sense of pride.  I am passionate about identifying and bridging gaps in services, to ensure I meet the needs of our clients and community, which means that I am creative and innovative in my practice.  My ultimate aim is to empower people to feel more confident, resilient and able to make informed choices about their own health and well-being, armed with the tools and resources to achieve it.

To me, success is sharing part of a journey with someone, who gains greater self awareness, clarity over what they want and builds a toolkit of knowledge, skills and resources to create the change they want to see. Mixed with their self-confidence and belief, I love people reaching the point of being able to declare, with confidence…..I CAN. I WILL. WATCH ME, knowing they are leaving with more tools to navigate their journey, from when they started.

Sharon Whitfield

I’m Sharon and have been part of the Next Chapter journey since day 1, when Claire used to chew my ear off for hours and roped me into all sorts, in fact, she still does!

I was involved in the renovation when we first got our premises, which took a lot of work, cleaning, decorating and rescuing fury animals which fell from the ceiling… I’m glad to say the are all safely re-homed and we don’t have that problem anymore!  Next Chapter has been a major part of my journey and massive influence of me being who I am today.
I love being in the centre, it helped me to improve myself, knowledge, skills and confidence, but, I had to take a leap of faith and really pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  This wasn’t easy to do, but really was worth it.  I’m really proud of the courses and qualifications I got, which I never thought I would be capable of.  This has given me so much experience but also an understanding of how to support and encourage others, as I share my story of what is possible when you dare to dream.  It’s definitely helped me raise my confidence and get out into the world, believing in myself, doing things I never dreamt possible.
I was involved in the big renovation in 2019, when we took over the rest of the building, spending most of my days, nights and everything in-between there, getting the place ready.  I met loads of really amazing people who came along to help and felt so proud of what we were doing and how it was going to help and support so many more people.  I got to know some of our Next Chapter friends really well, although the reason I am grey!  The children made it their mission to see who could scare me the most…. I haven’t forgotten and will get you all back one day!
Next Chapter is so important to me… because it made me find my own worth, be seen, valued, cared for an realise that I do matter.   It’s a safe place that people can spend time to heal, recover and learn more about themselves at their own pace, knowing there is someone to believe in them, until they believe in themselves.  It’s a space which I take pride in helping to make a calm, quiet and comfortable; an inviting place to be, so others also feel important and  by the environment we create. 
My main role at the centre is to love and maintain the building, making sure it’s clean, well decorated and inviting for everyone else to come to, a place where they can retreat and feel valued.  But I help out with other things as a volunteer when needed.
Outside of work, I have cats, dogs and a grown up son.  I’m always up for adventures, trying (most) new things and love spending time with my little nephew.  
My advice for you, take a breath and reach out, you never know what possibilities await you… it may seem scary to begin with, but Next Chapter really does support you on that journey and helps you see all the great things about yourself.  It doesn’t happen over night, it takes time and commitment, but, it is possible to become your own best friend, champion and find somewhere you belong.  
I hope to meet you at some point!

Natalie Wojcik

Associate Counsellor

We are thrilled to welcome Natalie as an associate at Next Chapter. She employs an integrative approach tailored to individual needs and is able to support anyone who is struggling with mental health and well-being, be that young person or adult.  

Her specific passion and focus on working with those who have neuro-diversity. Natalie believes in a personalised toolkit, acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable and requires innovative, creative and for children, a shared approach to supporting change.

It’s crucial to recognise that neurodiverse conditions like ADHD and ASC cannot be “cured” or “fixed” through counseling or any other therapy. Natalie emphasises the importance of providing the right support and information to help individuals understand the positive and negative impacts of their symptoms, promoting autonomy and enhancing mental health.

Furthermore, Natalie often works with the child and parent, to bring about improved understanding, awareness, communication and connection, which enables therapeutic learnings and change to continue outside of the sessions.

Natalie brings a diverse set of skills to her clinic, including:

  • Person-centred: assisting clients in making the best decisions for themselves.
  • Psychodynamic: understanding how past experiences may influence current relationships, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Systemic: working with children and their families in their home environment and relationships.
  • Cognitive-behavioural: helping clients manage problems by exploring their thoughts and behaviours.
  • Coaching: guiding clients towards time-limited, focused goals and solutions.
  • Play Therapy/Art/Sand Tray: facilitating exploration of emotions, traumas, and worries in a safe manner, especially beneficial when social interaction is challenging due to mental health or neurodiverse conditions.

Counselling and coaching, with a consideration of neurodiverse conditions, play a vital role in a client’s acceptance of their situation. Whether newly diagnosed or dealing with difficulties for an extended period, therapy provides a space for clients to understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with them. It fosters an awareness that their perception of the world may differ from others and that such differences can impact mental health, potentially leading to co-occurring conditions like anxiety and depression.

Workshops and Courses

Alongside delivering courses for young people to build friendships, relationships and self esteem, Natalie also delivers courses and workshops for children, parents, and adults who have received a diagnosis. These sessions aim to explore the implications of the diagnosis, foster understanding, and empower individuals to embrace their authentic selves, recognising the positive qualities that neurodiversity can bring.

You can find more information about Natalie on her website:



Julie Palmer

Healthy Relationships Practitioner 

I have over 20 years’ experience supporting families across Wirral. Previous jobs have included early years and youth work, family support and domestic abuse. These roles have led me to recently co-create a Healthy Relationships Hub with Next Chapter.   

I’m always keen to find new ways to support and engage families so that they can reach their full potential. I’m really interested in exploring how our life experiences can shape our own values and attitudes and the foundation of my work is to support families to help them set goals, develop skills and routines to problem solve in challenging situations.  My interest lies in healthy communication, conflict resolution, combating feelings of loneliness, isolation and lack of motivation. 

My motto is “Do something today that your future self will thank you for – the key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles”  

Kay Locke

Associate & Trainee Counsellor

We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that Kay chose Next Chapter as her training placement, where she spends the day with us, once a week. This particularly exciting due to her passion and work with the Neurodivergent community, although, in her placement, she works with anyone who would benefit from her experience. 

Kay brings a breadth of knowledge, skills and resources, not only as a Trainee Counsellor, but as an established professional with her own business. 

Kay is the Founder of Specially Unruffled Ltd, which was established in 2018. Kay is a specialist in autism, special needs and mental health. 

Kay has invested her time and energy into learning to understand naturally occuring stress and anxiety and investigating and discovering factors that help to reduce stress. Learning to bring us back to a sense of well-being and equilibrium in everyday life via a wide range of strategies. 

Discovering that she is autistic in her 40’s helped Kay to understand why she had been focusing on learning to manage stress in her own life and gives her a unique perspective to connect and support some of the most vulnerable people in society. 

You can find more about Kay on her website; www.speciallyunruffled.com