Work has now started on the new Starbeck home of Wellspring Therapy & Training, the Harrogate-based counselling and training centre.
The mental health charity has raised more than £171,000 towards its target of £236,000 to enable it to move into new premises to cope with the growing demand for its services.
The charity is relocating from Prospect Road, Starbeck, to nearby St Andrew’s Vicarage, which has been bought by the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.
Wellspring will lease the vicarage and will be moving in early next year, after an extensive refurbishment, undertaken by both professional contractors and enthusiastic Wellspring volunteers.
Work was officially started by Wellspring’s patron the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, who is pictured. He commented:
For many people with mental health issues, timely access to good quality talking therapy is essential. And at a time when access to that provision is at a premium, charities like Wellspring provide a crucial service.
I was very glad to offer my support by becoming Wellspring’s patron and I am delighted to see that the next phase of the relocation project is underway.
The well-respected charity, which was founded in 2003, provides affordable short and long-term counselling for Harrogate and district community.
Moira Start, the chair of Wellspring’s trustees, explained:
These are exciting and rewarding times for everyone associated with our charity. We have been humbled by the generosity of so many people and organisations, which has helped us to raise over £171,000 since we launched our appeal last autumn.
We are now transforming the vicarage into the first-class training and counselling centre, and are redoubling our fund-raising efforts this year to reach the magic target of £236,000, but we are sustained by the kindness we have experienced so far.
At the same time, we are so delighted by the wholehearted support shown by Bishop of Leeds. As one of the very senior members of the Church of England, with so many demands on his time, this support is a real endorsement of what we are trying to achieve.
Current fund-raising efforts trekking the Sahara; running the York Marathon; cycling from the Lancashire Coast to the Yorkshire Coast; and cycling Sheffield to Venice.
Support via https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraiser/search-results.html?text=&charityId=70210 would be gratefully and warmly received.
Emily Fullarton, the director of Wellspring, explained:
The demand for our services in the Harrogate area is growing fast, which is why we need to expand. We have been very happy with our premises at Prospect Road, but they simply aren’t big enough now.
In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at least once in their lifetime. According to local research, many people in Harrogate assume because it is a ‘nice town’ people don’t struggle with these issues. That simply isn’t true. There is a huge demand in Harrogate for our services and it’s increasing. The NHS, which is responsible for mental health care, needs our support. In 2016, for example, 56 per cent of our referrals came from the NHS.
What makes Wellspring’s work unique is that we offer affordable long-term, open-ended counselling where needed. Unfortunately, this type of therapy is not currently widely available from the NHS. Most private counselling typically costs between £40-60 for each session, but many of our clients are unable to afford this.
We aim to restore hope, develop resilience and facilitate positive change in people’s lives. We are passionate about enabling people to find healing and seeing them move towards emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Rebecca Bletcher of The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation said:
We are thrilled to provide support to Wellspring to enable them to pursue their expansion plans. Their ethos and aims tie in with the Foundation’s objects perfectly; to help and support people from all backgrounds. We feel honoured to be part of the team.
Emily Fullarton concluded:
Our new premises are very special. Apart from being so close to where we are now, which is a massive bonus for our clients, and large enough to cope with demand, they were also the home of our founding Director, Elaine Wainaina, so it all seems like an answer to our prayers.