CHARITY OF THE WEEK: We take a look at the important work of Harrogate's Wellspring Therapy and Training

Charities across the Harrogate district have had a tough couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we want to highlight those who need your help and support in 2022.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2022, 11:36 am

Wellspring Therapy and Training was established in 2003 and is a counselling and training centre working to restore hope, develop resilience and facilitate positive change in the lives of children and adults struggling with emotional distress.

The Starbeck based organisation does this through providing one-to-one counselling sessions for children and adults, as well as group work and training to schools, local businesses and churches to equip them in caring for those who are struggling within their communities.

In recent years, they have doubled the number of counselling sessions that they offer to those who need it.

Wellspring Therapy and Training provide affordable, psychological support to people in distress in Harrogate and promote good mental health through education and training

They see around 140 children and adults every week from the centre in Starbeck and about 40 young people per week in local schools.

However, this is still not enough and they have been forced to close their waiting list due to the high demand for support.

They would love to offer more sessions to adults and young people and open their centre on a Friday, but more funding and volunteers are needed to allow them to do so.

Emily Fullarton, Executive Director at Wellspring Therapy and Training, said: “At Wellspring we have seen a rise in the severity of mental illness, in particular anxiety, isolation and loneliness, increase in domestic abuse and an increase in obsessive behaviours such as eating disorders.

Wellspring Therapy and Training provide affordable, psychological support to people in distress in Harrogate and promote good mental health through education and training

“Whilst the NHS work hard to support people, we know they are overwhelmed with long waiting times and inappropriate support and in recent years, 30 to 40% of referrals come through NHS teams who cannot offer their patients any support.

“And this is why Wellspring exists as we want to see an end to emotional distress and in the pandemic, we adapted quickly, moving our therapy sessions online which many of our clients found a lifeline.”

Wellspring’s aim is to ensure that there are no barriers to children and adults accessing counselling which is why they run their counselling sessions on a contribution model so individuals can access support for as little as £5 or less in exceptional circumstances.

A few months after her session, one client told the team that she hadn’t sought help for her feelings of anxiety and depression for over 20 years, partly because she thought counselling was an unaffordable option for her.

Wellspring Therapy and Training provide affordable, psychological support to people in distress in Harrogate and promote good mental health through education and training

She said: “I am pleased to say I have not been down or depressed since my last session a few months ago.

“That’s not to say that I don’t think it will happen again, but I now feel I have the tools and knowledge to deal with whatever comes next.

“I am surer of myself when I speak to others and most importantly, I am proud of being who I am and I consider the sessions I had at Wellspring a pivotal and enlightening part of my journey and I would not now be afraid to seek help again when I need it.”

Wellspring Therapy and Training would not be able to carry out the vital work that they do without their brilliant and hard working volunteers.

They are looking for volunteers to offer a warm welcome by greeting clients, answering the phone and helping to keep the premises clean and tidy.

Emily added: “We need to grow to support the increase in demand so we are looking for volunteer welcomers and counsellors to join the team.

“As a welcomer you will sit on reception and provide a friendly face to our clients and support staff and counsellors in their roles.”

There are many ways people can support the work of Wellspring, whether that’s taking part in this year’s Nidderdale Walk or joining them in the virtual London Marathon in October to help raise vital funds for the charity.

Emily added: “We need more people to fundraise for us and you may have your own ideas which we would definitely love to hear about. We love supporting those who fundraise for us as we can’t do our life-saving work without the community’s support so please get in touch.”

The simplest way to support the charity is to make a donation via their Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/wellspringtherapy

For more information about Wellspring Therapy and Training, visit https://wellspringtherapy.co.uk/

Are you working with or getting any support from a charity in the region that deserves some support and credit after the difficult Covid lockdowns? We would love to hear from you!