Penny Mansfield is retiring from her role as co-director
March 1, 2022

Penny Mansfield CBE will be retiring from her role as co-director of OnePlusOne at the end of this month.

Appointed by our founder Dr Jack Dominian, Penny joined the organisation in 1976 as senior research officer and has been at the forefront of much of our relationship research and innovation. This often groundbreaking work has contributed to the robust evidence base that underpins our digital resources used by thousands of families and practitioners across England and Wales today.

Penny has been a leading a figure in the sector, renowned for her expertise in evidence-based practice and policy relating to couple relationships. She was awarded a CBE for her services to children and families in 2013.

As a specialist in qualitative research on relationships and early intervention, Penny’s work for OnePlusOne has been widely published, becoming the basis of many practical guides and widely used resources. She has also been a member of various government committees – on the role of health visiting, the healthy child programme, and the impact of parental separation – highlighting the importance of parental relationships to child development and family wellbeing.

Verity Glasgow, who has been with OnePlusOne since 2011 and a co-director alongside Penny since 2019, will become the CEO of the charity as it expands its reach across the country, offering training and tools to help reduce parental conflict and support relationships.

Verity said:

“Penny’s long-standing commitment to OnePlusOne and its mission to help people develop the skills they need to build and maintain healthy relationships has been truly remarkable. Her knowledge and dedication have played a crucial part in establishing OnePlusOne as a leader in its field. On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to thank her for her service.  

“It has been a real pleasure and opportunity to work with and learn from such a knowledgeable and passionate person. After 46 years of being a part of OnePlusOne, we wish Penny a very happy retirement.

“OnePlusOne is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It’s a significant milestone for any organisation and we have many achievements to reflect on with pride. We are excited about the future as we continue to work with a growing number of partners to equip people with the skills, confidence, and tools they need to develop and maintain strong, supportive relationships.”  

Ruth Kennedy, chair of trustees for OnePlusOne, said:

“Penny has always embodied what I feel is the spirit of OnePlusOne: combining deep research expertise with an acute understanding of people’s needs and a keen entrepreneurial eye for the opportunities to make a difference. Her openness and courage was instrumental in OnePlusOne understanding and embracing very early the potential of digital for revolutionising access to support and interventions that work. Penny has led the organisation with humility and energy, and over fifteen years as a trustee and now as chair, I have loved working with her. She leaves a profound legacy.”

Penny Mansfield CBE said:

“My long association with OnePlusOne – with absences for putting research into practice (parenting) – derives from Jack’s Dominian’s vision. Over the years many others have shared that vision – Jean Collard, Dr Deirdre Morrod, Jenny Reynolds, the late Professor Sir Michael Rutter, Professor Paul Black, Ruth Kennedy, and Verity Glasgow, to name but a few. Having worked closely with Verity as co-directors, I have no doubt that she will steer OnePlusOne with skill and flair into its sixth decade.

“It is twenty years since OnePlusOne published Not in Front of the Children, a major review of the evidence of the impact of parental conflict on children. It took another sixteen years for this to become a focus of government policy with the Department for Work and Pension’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme. The introduction of No Fault Divorce legislation in April will provide the perfect opportunity for government to put the needs of children first. It is imperative that they take it.”

Penny Mansfield’s career with OnePlusOne:

  • 1976. Appointed as senior research officer.  
  • 1978-1990. Principal investigator, The Early Years Study – a longitudinal study of marriage.
  • 1990-1996. Deputy director, responsible for research, development, and information services.
  • 1996-2019. Director, awarded a CBE for services to children and families in 2013.
  • 2019-2022. Co-director with Verity Glasgow.