'The message of the WAVE report is so clear and so well argued that I have circulated it widely to clinical colleagues and policy makers. The findings are particularly powerful because of the status of WAVE as an independent NGO/charity without any other axe to grind. The WAVE report is playing a significant role in shaping the content of [our early intervention] strategy.'
— Dr Christine Puckering, Glasgow SG Hospital, advisor to the Scottish Executive
Sir Richard Bowlby
After a career in medical and scientific photography, Sir Richard retired in 1999 to spend his time studying the work of his father, John Bowlby, the pioneer researcher on the impact of early attachment relationships between parents and their young children.
Richard offers the following observation:
‘Disruptive children, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, depression and crime, are problems that usually share a common origin. It is the quality of the earliest attachment relationships formed between parents and their babies that tend to predispose the behaviour of the developing child and emerging adult. There is now overwhelming long-term scientific evidence that points to the first two years of a person’s life as the critical period for their personality traits to become established. These patterns of behaviour are wired up in the infant's developing brain, and when they later become parents they will frequently find themselves repeating the experiences of their own childhood with their child.’
Sir Christopher Ball - Former Chairman
Former Chairman of WAVE Trust, and author of Start Right: the Importance of Early Learning (RSA, 1994) Sir Christopher Ball, was previously warden of Keble College, Oxford, and Chancellor of the University of Derby.
Believing in the overarching importance of the early years of life, Sir Christopher took on the chairmanship of WAVE in 2003, where he remained until 2006, guiding us through the crucial process of producing the seminal report Violence and what to do about it.
Sir Christopher’s educational work has placed great importance on the benefits of society giving enough attention, and resource, to the developmental needs of under 5s. As government adviser on education policy to Prime Minister John Major he drew attention to the importance of early learning. The late Norman Glass, the senior Treasury Civil Servant credited by Sure Start management with having created their groundbreaking early childhood programme, stated that it was Sir Christopher's writings on this subject which inspired him to propose the Sure Start programme.