Lincoln counselling hub expands after £40k investment

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Counsellors are celebrating upgrading their premises and expanding their team, after putting a £40,000 boost to work.

The Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub (NWCH) – which has already worked with more than 751 clients over the past two years – is now placed to provide potentially lifesaving support to more distressed youngsters and adults.

Alongside the hub’s latest expansion move, two more experts have also just been recruited, which means that 17 counsellors, six support staff and two pet therapy dogs are now working out of the Community Interest Company.

The new recruits include Karen Hopper and Heather Rice, with another two counsellors are being interviewed this week.

Among its many services, NWCH offers free counselling to young people between the ages of four and 18 and extends its rape and sexual abuse counselling in the younger age category, to those up to 25-years-old.

NWCH receives referrals from charity organisations, schools, Macmillan nurses, GPs, drug and alcohol services, the Probation Service, and other medical professionals.

Chief Executive Naomi Watkins said: “We are thrilled to have put £40,000 – awarded by The Key Fund last year – to good use to enhance our accommodation, allowing us to help many more people in need and start their counselling programmes even sooner.

“This is the second lot of assistance we have had from The Key Fund, which gave us £60,000 just a few months earlier. Both awards were in the form of a part grant/part loan.

“We had already created six counselling rooms, which are specifically decorated to help put children, teenagers, single adults and couples at their ease. We are delighted that we have been able to create three more in our second unit, including facilities on the ground floor tailored to the needs of people with disabilities.”

On Saturday, February 2, the hub will be throwing open the doors of its Allenby Industrial Estate premises to visitors from 10am to 4pm, including special guests Lincoln’s Mayor Councillor Keith Weaver and Mayoress Jacqui Lane.