History

For more than 10 years, Our Time has been committed to supporting children and young people who have a parent with a mental illness.

Our Time's founder Alan Cooklin

Where it all started…

In 1999 at a key national conference, Keeping the Family in Mind, a group of young people delivered a passionate presentation about caring for a parent experiencing mental illness without support. Our Time (formerly The Kidstime Foundation) was established in 2000 by Dr Alan Cooklin in response to this impassioned plea.

a group of hands together

Becoming a charity…

We became a registered charity to formalise our ongoing work with family workshops and awareness raising. The KidsTime Workshop model was formalised, and began running in a number of areas, providing much needed support to families where a parent has a mental illness.

Our time logo

Renaming and rebranding…

Dr Alan Cooklin, the charity’s founder, retired from his role, and Dympna Cunnane became CEO. The KidsTime Foundation was renamed Our Time, and Dympna starts an expansion of the charity’s work beyond family workshops, developing other programmes, including Our Time Schools (formerly the ‘Who Cares?’ programme) and professional development and training. 

illustration of two young people

Virtual delivery…

During the pandemic, Our Time temporarily moved to a virtual delivery model, and developed licence agreements for all its KidsTime Workshops. The charity launched new workshops in Ealing, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, as well as a PSHE course. We broadened our public policy work with submissions to several committees and worked in partnership with local authorities.

girl smiling

Reaching more young people…

By the end of 2021, there were more than 20 active KidsTime Workshops running in the UK and the charity had also supported the development of a number of European workshops too. We also increased the number of schools we were working with.

Our Time's CEO at a conference

Looking ahead…

We’re increasing the number of beneficiaries we work with and raising awareness of our cause through podcasts and videos. At Our Time, we’re always developing creative ways to reach young people.

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