North Lancashire Counselling Service is a small charity run entirely by volunteers. For 30 years we have offered free, time unlimited counselling to adults over 18. We rely on client donations and fundraising activities plus funding from trusts and grants. We offer placements to local college/university students of counselling and host CPD training events open to external organisations and private practitioners.
Mental health resources are inadequate to cope with the need for counselling; and the North West is one of the neediest areas [see government mental health statistics]. Waiting lists for therapy [often time limited] can be unacceptably long. To see more about our activities, testimonials etc. please visit our website.
Our clients are mainly from Lancaster /Morecambe but also Preston, Garstang and occasionally West Yorkshire and Cumbria.
We recruit trainee counsellors from local colleges and universities to work on placement with us. Some of them stay and become experienced, and take on extra roles in our organisation. We also welcome qualified counsellors who want to donate time voluntarily to help people who cannot afford counselling. We obtain funding to train new supervisors to support our counselling team [currently 23].
We host high quality CPD training events for our own counsellors and other organisations and professionals in the community. We offer free, time unlimited counselling to all adults over 18 and fill a need for more choice as to how long they need, as well as providing this for those who cannot wait on NHS waiting lists or cannot afford private therapy. We see about 100 people each year, some of them for a few weeks, others for over 12 months. We apply for funds via trusts and grants for our training expenses, but organise fundraising activities to meet our core expenses.
We ask clients to donate what they can afford but this is never compulsory, and we do not means test them. If they need our service free, they receive it free. Due to the current climate of economic austerity and the inefficiencies of the social welfare system, many people do need a free service.