We Hear You

We Hear You

At a glance


  • Counselling / advice

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WHY offers free, professional counselling for children, young people and adults affected by cancer and other life-threatening conditions in Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon, and Wiltshire.

Around 10,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the area where we work, and one in four die from the disease. Up to half of people with cancer lose their relationships because of the illness and Public Health England stated in 2018 that cancer patients are at a 20% increased risk of suicide.

1 in 10 suicides are from people with a chronic health condition.

The pandemic has delayed many people’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. The NHS reported in March2022 that the number of people starting a first treatment for cancer is 37,000 lower than in 2019 mostly due to people not contacting their GP. And that number is aside from people facing other life-threatening conditions.

Social isolation itself has significantly added to anxiety levels and negative emotional feelings.


WHY’s counselling provides a place where people can find the support they need, express their deepest fears and say the ‘unsayable’ without fear of hurting those around them. Our counsellors are fully qualified and experienced in working with cancer and bereavement. We see people at 15 different venues (as well as online counselling), offering up to 16 weekly counselling sessions per person. We are flexible so that people who are having treatment, or recovering from surgery, can see us when they feel able.

With our support people are able to find a way to bear their grief, overcome depression and find a way to live again; carers are helped to withstand the physical and emotional strain so that they can continue caring for their loved one and make the most of the time they have left together; people diagnosed with incurable condition are helped to come to terms with their illness and die a peaceful death; children and young people are helped to understand what is happening, express their feelings and find a way to cope.

We measure the impact of our work using a clinically validated evaluation tool - CORE - and our own evaluation measure. Clients asked to rate our service score us an average of 7.6 out of a possible 8. CORE evaluation shows an overall 67% improvement in peoples overall psychological state after counselling - with an 84% reduction in risky or self-harming behaviour.

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