A community counselling service has celebrated its first anniversary of giving people access to affordable help.
Bedford Community Counselling was set up in 2012 by Katja Fischer, Kate Cooper and Jo Moloney, three qualified psychotherapists who share a passion for counselling.
They established the service in response to a growing awareness that affordable counselling can be difficult to access in the Bedford area, despite a significant need.
Jo said: “We recognised that paying up to £40 per counselling session isn’t realistically affordable for many people, especially in the current economic climate
“Our research supported what we already suspected – that local residents wanted to have access to counselling, but they just couldn’t afford what was on offer. That’s when we decided to establish Bedford Community Counselling.”
Bedford Community Counselling is a community interest company, a not-for-profit organisation, where all income is ploughed back into the service.
Katja said: “We are committed to offering an ethical and affordable counselling service to local people who need or want counselling. As a non-profit-making group, we are able to offer a sliding scale of fees to clients, starting at £10 per session, according to their ability to pay.”
The three directors see clients from 8.30am to 8.30pm, Monday to Friday, from their rooms in Bedford Business Centre, on St Peter’s Street.
Kate said: “We work with individuals and couples, whether they are in a relationship, family members, friends or colleagues. We’re also considering starting a therapeutic group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Our research and feedback from the local community suggests that this is a sorely needed resource and safe haven for survivors.”
Bedford Community Counselling’s ethos is that counselling should be available to anyone who wants or needs it.
Katja said: “Counselling can help with any problems we may encounter in life. Bereavement, trauma, abuse, anger, stress and anxiety, phobias and fears, and change. Anything that stops you from feeling like the real you, that seems to stop you living the life you want in life, may be helped through counselling.”
Jo said: “Imagine if you could say how you feel and feel supported and accepted, rather than judged. That’s what we offer at Bedford Community Counselling.”
Kate added: “We promote and embrace diversity, equality and difference. We’re professional, ethical and honest, and we’re committed to supporting our local community.”
All counsellors at Bedford Community Counselling are Members of BACP and are bound by its Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. All counsellors are fully insured and have an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.
For more information or to contact Katja, Kate and Jo, call 01234 362 730 or 07712 306 085 or visit www.bedfordcommunitycounselling.org