The Don’t Call Me Mum initiative was pioneered in 2016 by Rachel Wright with the support of Simple Stuff Works. Don’t Call Me Mum is about humanising our conversations and centring people as a first step in #bridgingthegap between professionals and parents. It is founded on mutual respect and asks practitioners to demonstrate their passion for working co-productively with parents by simply using the parent’s name. Some research shows about half of parents would prefer not to be called ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ in meetings and appointments (Bayer et al, 2021) while other research suggested on 25% clinicians use a parent’s name (Amer and Fisher 2009).
When practitioners introduce themselves we ask this is followed by “And your name is?”. In taking the time to know a parents’ name a professional is making a simple step toward acknowledging the valuable participation parents make in providing the best service, product, assessment or plan for a child. Mutual respect and effective communication are the foundation of trust and co-production.
#parentsaspartners #andyournameis? #coproduction #personalisedcare
Recognising Parents as Partners
To join our initiative:
- Share our BLOGS 5 Little things that make a Big Difference or Don’t call me Mum Initiative
- Like Don’t call me Mum on Facebook
- Follow Don’t call me Mum on Twitter
- Demonstrate your support by ordering your badges or add our logo to your website.
- Book on Born at the Right Time Specialist Training which puts the heart of lived experience in the centre of effective communication and co-production.
To become a supporter of ‘Don’t call me Mum’ and show that your company, department or school acknowledges the essential contribution parents make, order your badges here and contact us to add our logo to your website.
Communication and co-production with relatives and carers is recognised by Ofsted and CQC as essential aspects for good practice in education, health and social care. Find out more about Born at the Right Time specialist training on our Training Page.
‘Don’t call me Mum’
The Don’t call me Mum initiative started in 2016. It is a parent-lead initiative asking practitioners and professionals to use parents names, not ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’. In a viral blog post, Rachel Wright, the author of ‘The Skies I’m Under’, asks professionals to stop calling parents ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ in meetings and appointments. The ‘Don’t call me Mum’ is a call from parents to professionals that they demonstrate their respect for the valuable contribution parents make, and treat them as partners. Since then other parents have joined the call including personal blogs and articles in BMJ.
Follow on from the widely used campaign #Himynameis, ‘Don’t call me Mum’ follows with #andyournameis?
It highlights the need for all professionals working with families, to address parents appropriately. It is common for parent’s of children, especially those with additional needs, to find themselves being referred to as ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’. For some parents this is patronising and impersonal. By using a parent’s name, a professional makes a small step towards showing they recognise the important role a parent holds as a key-professional in their child’s treatment and care. It is small significant step towards open the door to mutually respectful, effective communication founded on trust. The campaign has a website, Facebook and Twitter page. Parents, professionals and companies can order support packs with badges or rights to our logo to show support to our values of making care family-centred.
Rachel, author of The Skies I’m Under and mum of a son with severe disabilities, said, “Don’t call me Mum started because being called ‘Mum’ by anyone other than my children just feels wrong and happens all the time. When I spoke to other parents I realised I’m not alone. As a nurse I know how simple things can make a big difference and as I parent I have felt the disengagement of being referred to as ‘Mum’. As the founder of Born at the Right Time, I’m passionate about #bridgingthegap between professionals and parents. It is definitely a two-way street and this is one simple way professionals can show parents they want to work together as a team.
Sarah, CEO of Simple Stuff Works and parent to a daughter with additional needs added, “When Rachel approached us with the idea for ‘Don’t call me Mum’ it really struck a chord with me. I have a job with a great deal of responsibility, I travel the world speaking about therapeutic positioning and lead an award winning organisation. However, when I attend meetings with my daughter my role is relegated simply to ‘mum’ – the person that will do the vast majority of the work arising from the meeting but doesn’t warrant a name. Knowing my name and using it lets everyone know that I too am valued and that my contribution is recognised, a fundamental when it comes to any partnership.”
Notes to Editors
About Rachel Wright
Rachel is a qualified nurse, award winning blogger, international speaker, specialist trainer and unqualified mum of three sons, one of whom has severe disabilities and life-limiting epilepsy. In 2015 she founded Born at the Right Time which is #bridgingthegap between families of children with complex needs and those who support them. Rachel is available for photographs and interviews.
About Sarah Clayton
Sarah is a mother of 4 and currently leads a talented team at Simple Stuff Works. Originally trained as a biologist she began working with families of children and adults with complex healthcare needs in the late 1990s. As a fully qualified teacher she has developed 5 nationally recognised qualifications in the use of therapeutic positioning. Sarah loves nothing better than training parents and practitioners alongside one another and is passionate about the recognition of individuals and their families.
For more information, visit
Don’t call me mum is a parent lead campaign that asks education, health and social care professionals communicate in a way which marks parents as equal partners in a child’s care.
Simple Stuff Works is a multi-award winning company that supplies therapeutic positioning equipment and nationally recognised accredited training in protection of body shape.