Counselling charity expands services during pandemic

Tilehouse Counselling is a charity that provides professional counselling in Hitchin and North Hertfordshire. They identified a need for a counselling service in the community over fifteen years ago and now provide counselling for around 450 people annually, handling a range of matters. In 2021, we at the Heritage Foundation granted them just under £14,000 to expand services during the pandemic.

Tilehouse Counselling offers short term or counselling for up to a year for adults and young people aged 13 to 18 years old. They are member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work strictly within an ethical framework, with 12 fully qualified counsellors at their centre, who are committed to ongoing professional development through external and internal training.

Tilehouse Counselling also serves Letchworth Garden City and provides support to those who need it most in the North Hertfordshire area.

We sat down with Sue Barnes, Director at Tilehouse Counselling, to speak about the greatest and toughest time they experienced.

“Unfortunately, planned fundraising events had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and we have been unable to resume them. This has put additional pressure on us to generate income to keep our service open and available.

“The impact of COVID-19 on some businesses and groups has been devastating. However, we have adapted by offering clients counselling online and by telephone.

“Our waiting list is always a good indicator for the demand of our service” 

 “We approached Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation during the pandemic for financial support to help us provide vital additional counselling. Before the grant was given to us, we had to adapt our policies and safeguarding procedures so that we could safely deliver support to our clients. The pandemic meant we needed to provide the vast majority of counselling remotely.  Counsellors were trained and the transition to remote working was relatively smooth.

“The Heritage Foundation awarded us just under £14,000 in the aid of the support of training and employment. We aimed that the support would help services grow internally and expand resources externally. We focused on helping young people from Letchworth who are struggling with their mental health, especially during the pandemic, and responding to changes professionally and co-operatively by providing additional counselling sessions each week.

“We saw 96 teenagers from Letchworth, using this grant and also were able to grow our services. The resources available from the Foundation mean we are able to draw upon help in later years if needed.”

“Our key hope is that we will be able to continue to provide our vital counselling service for many years to come"

The Foundation acknowledges the importance of counselling among the community, for this reason, we support the cause of which Tilehouse Counselling aims to achieve. Reach out to Tilehouse Counselling if you need support.