Swindon charity to convert steps into counselling sessions

By Amanda Wilkins - 18 June 2024


On Saturday 22 June, Willows Counselling Co-CEOs Denise Brent and Amanda Cook and members of their team, will take on a sponsored challenge to walk 25km as part of the Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge.

The novice walkers are motivated to make this impressive effort to raise enough money to fund 200 counselling sessions so that people in the local community, needing expert therapeutic support, are not deprived of access, or disadvantaged, due to financial constraints.

Having endured a range of challenging life events themselves, the team know firsthand the suffering and pain borne from experiences such as anxiety, sudden loss, trauma and the transformative power of emotional support received through quality counselling.

£25 funds one counselling session, so the team are on a quest to raise £5000 to meet their 200-session target.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem of some kind each year in England, there is an ever-growing need for quality counselling support.

Established for over 30 years, Willows Counselling & Training continues to offer its services to meet the mental health needs of people in Swindon, Wiltshire and the West of England.

Providing an affordable service for those where finances are limits, Willows team of highly qualified counsellors offer one to one counselling sessions for people facing mental health difficulties, with specialism in counselling for trauma and abuse with its complex challenges.

In an average week, Willows conducts around 60 counselling sessions, 85% of which are subsidised to some degree. Willows is also recognised as a leading provider of counselling training from entry-level to postgraduate and beyond.

Denise Brent, Co-CEO, Willows said: “We are passionate about the work we do at Willows and wanted to take on a challenge that would enable us to raise funds to support people in our community, whilst also investing in our own physical and mental health.

“The training walks have been more challenging than we anticipated, especially the hill walks, but seeing the donations come in and realising how many people we will be able to support as a result keeps us motivated and determined to make it to the finish line.

"I know firsthand through personal and professional experiences just how transformative counselling can be, by helping us connect with ourselves and others at times when we feel alone and isolated.”

The 8 members of the Walk for Willows team will take part in the first ¼ challenge, walking 25km from Cirencester to Painswick.

Donations can be made through their Just Giving event page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/walkforwillows

£25 (£1 per km walked) funds one counselling session.


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