Our story


How it all began

Launched in 2003, Tender was founded by Tamsin Larby whose own experience in the theatre revealed how performance could be harnessed to empower children and young people. Tamsin built a charity that works creatively with young people to engage them in the prevention of abuse, and the promotion of healthy, equal relationships. Enlisting the support of current CEO Susie McDonald, Tamsin developed and launched five secondary school projects in London.


Susie McDonald becomes CEO

When Tamsin decided to step down, Susie was asked to become the new CEO. Under Susie’s leadership, Tender developed a social franchise model in 2010, and expanded into different regions of the UK, with permanent staff delivering and coordinating projects in these areas.


We rose to the challenge

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but Tender rose to the challenge, moving our projects online to reach as many children, young people and professionals as possible. This period also highlighted the critical importance of our preventative work. Reports of domestic abuse rose as more people were isolated in their homes with perpetrators, while children and young people missed out on vital support to build healthy relationships. This time highlighted the vital need to thread positive relationships throughout the next generation and ensure all ages can recognise the signs of abuse. Just like maths or English, we must ensure that effective Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) remains consistent, whatever the circumstances.


Celebrating 20 years of Tender

October 2023 will mark 20 years since Tender was founded and registered as a charity. We celebrated the occasion with a new celebrity ambassador programme, a special edition of our annual Tender Awards attended by our patron Olivia Colman, and a 20-mile fundraising walk around key landmarks from Tender’s history.