Grant for counselling organisation as spike in referrals are expected

A counselling group that is worried about a spike in mental health issues as people struggle to return to life after lockdown has been given a £3,000 grant by Oswestry Town Council.

The Oswestry based, U&I Counselling community interest company had applied for a grant for £2,780 from the town council towards its rent, supervision and for training its counsellors.

But councillors at their March meeting agreed to a £3,000 grant, praising the organisation for the work that it does.

U&I Counselling's aim is to provide profession counselling to all, regardless of the ability to pay and to offer a safe and accessible environment with privacy that can be made Covid secure on the return to face-to-face counselling. Its counsellors give their time free of charge.

Referrals for counselling are made by various bodies such as GPs, school and housing organisations. People are also able to self refer.

Chairman, Wendy Hickson said the self referrals were expected to soar as lockdown was eased and face-to-face sessions could return.

"Coming out of lockdown we anticipate a massive surge in demand for our services, around the mental health of adults and children," she said.

"We anticipate a rise in depression and anxiety."

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