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-Louise Owens

Founder, Senior Practitioner, Coach and Lead Tutor

Julie Palmer

Senior Healthy Relationships Practitioner

Jessica Jones

Mentor Coach Co-ordinator, Family Coach and Tutor

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 and the design of organisation comes from the memory of my 13 year-old self. At that age I knew what support I and my family needed, however I struggled to access it.  My passion was to create the service that myself and family needed, a more holistic approach to wellbeing which allowed education and therapeutic support to meet. empowering the individual to feel in control and validated and supported along their journey.  My philosophy is ‘to be the change I wanted to see in the world’ so, my journey began in 2016, using my experience, training and stories to work towards my vision. With the support of others, I was lucky enough to make that dream a reality. 

I have 26 years’ experience supporting young people, adults and families across Wirral and am now old enough to now see second generations coming through!  I am a qualified mentor, coach, holistic therapist and well-being practitioner. I also hold teaching qualifications in post-14 education and it’s the joy of bringing all these skills together, in one package that allows me to support a range of needs. 

My passion is around mental health, personal development and SEN, seeing each person as an individual and building a wraparound package of support, to help them achieve their goals. To me, success looks like an individual finding the clarity over what they want to happen and building a toolkit of knowledge, skills and resources. Once this is mixed with self-confidence and belief the people we work with feel able to step up and say… I CAN. I WILL. WATCH ME. 

Julie Palmer

Senior Healthy Relationships Practitioner 

I have 17 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”  

Jessica Jones

Mentor Coach Co-ordinator, Family Coach and Tutor 

I believe community and well-being coaching is a vital tool that we can use to help families progress and eventually, they can use the process independently. 

I’ve always loved working with people, and I have experience across lots of different sectors including housing associations and in the community with children and young adults who have disabilities.  

I know that our families can come in many shapes, sizes and dynamics and some of that can be hard to navigate. I recently retrained as a coach and a mentor working mostly with those who are experiencing mental health difficulties or who have experience of domestic abuse. My role as a coach is to help people achieve their goals both for themselves and their family.  

As a mum I understand that family life goes through many phases, some more difficult than others and often it takes a tribe. Sometimes you just need time to reflect and have the support from an outsider who has your back. I have experience across many areas that affect family life but I specifically like to work around self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence building and communication.  

I listen to people as they talk through their relationships and their ups and downs and help them think about how we re-find ourselves as people as well as parents and partners whilst trying to juggle the rest of our lives. 

If people have got this far you are looking for answers, I think getting in touch with Next Chapter CIC is as exciting as it is scary. Trust your gut. You’re in control and it can only get better from here 

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 spent most of my time at the Centre, helping out and learning, as I wanted to improve myself, knowledge, skills and confidence, so I took 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 which 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 then got 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!
In 2021, our latest project was the garden renovation, for which I got to use lots of cool power tools and get creative, to make the space work.  It also required a lot of patience, another skill I realised I had!! 
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.
So, my main role at the centre is to keep the building feeling looked after, cared for and loved, 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 am also a Peer mentor and work with people who need that extra listening ear, support in trying something new or just a friendly face to remind them, they can do it.
Outside of work, I have 6 cats, 2 dogs and a grown up son.  I’m always up for adventures, trying (most) new things and love spending time with my little nephew.  I’ve also realised I quite like Kayaking, something else I swore I would never do, but somehow got convinced to try in 2020, for which I temporarily became close friends with the trees on the River Dee.  I plan to try paddle boarding in the future, for which I expect to become even closer personal friends with the local fish !

Rebecca Wood

Learning Development Co-ordinator and Tutor

I’m Rebecca, The Learning and Development Coordinator at Next Chapter, where I support people in their learning journey. Learning has always been a passion of mine. To me, the saying “you learn something new every day” is more of a challenge, as I am always looking for ways to increase my own knowledge and skills. I’m currently studying a degree in Psychology and Counselling at university, as well as continued professional and personal development, so for our learners, you may see me in some of your classes! 

I believe learning should be as accessible and inclusive as possible, removing or overcoming barriers to education and training is vital as I believe that we should all have the ability to succeed, however this may look for each individual. This is the mindset that has empowered me to overcome my own personal struggles and limitations, in order to become the human I am today. 

Outside of work, I’m a mum of 3 (and 1 cheeky rescue pup who likely to eat shoes), I have enough houseplants that my friends refer to my home as ‘The Jungle’, and a pretty severe coffee addiction that I have no intention of addressing.  

Hopefully, I’ll be speaking to you soon as you start your journey and possibly in class!

Nicky Platt

I decided that I wanted to be a teacher aged 11, and I never changed my mind even though I found the journey quite a challenge.  I wasn’t particularly bright at school, and I lacked the confidence to speak up when I needed help.  I remember being in a set for maths and was told that it was better to be to be at the bottom of a top set than at the top of a lower set – this destroyed my confidence.  Everybody else ‘got it’ and my teacher tutted and sighed at me a lot so because of this, hated maths.  
I think this early experience as a learner has really helped me to become a good teacher.  I know what I feels like to find new learning difficult tricky, to be afraid to ask questions or ask for things to be explained in a different way.  I know how important it to make learning fun while developing confidence, self – belief and self – esteem, without which, academic progress and achievement is impossible – social and emotional progress is always at the forefront of my mind when teaching.  
I’m passionate about learning for ALL children. ALL children can progress and achieve but ALL children are different so of course, how, and what they achieve will be different.  I don’t believe that one child’s achievement should be considered ‘better’ than anyone else’s, so when I teach a whole class, or when undertaking 1:1 or small group tuition, I ensure that I give praise and encouragement to each child for what THEY can do, without comparison.