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Counselling charity based in Shrewsbury set to close

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A mental health charity based in Shrewsbury has been forced to close after more than 30 years due to a loss of funding.

Confide has spent the last 31 years working with adults, children and those in the Armed Forces.

The services, based at the Roy Fletcher Centre, will close at the end of the month.

Its counsellors see clients aged 11 or over suffering with mild to moderate mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Typical problems that people present with include bereavement, relationship difficulties, trauma, family issues, confidence and self-esteem problems, work-place issues and stress.

Trustees of the charity have taken the difficult decision to close following the reorganisation of mental health provision in Shropshire, effective from the start of the financial year, which has led to the cancellation of two long-standing contracts.

Over the years it has helped hundreds of people seeking help and support.

Jerry Bridgeland, chair of trustees, said: "The trustees sincerely regret that this course of action has been necessary and are keen to make public their enormous debt of gratitude to all the counsellors, supervisors and office staff who have worked for Confide over the years.

Generosity

"Their generosity in giving their time and expertise, often for no financial reward, has been selfless and the people of Shropshire have been the fortunate beneficiaries of their professional expertise."

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Mr Bridgeland added: "At the core of Confide's philosophy and success has been the generosity of the team of professional counsellors and helpers who, right from Confide's inception, have given much of their time 'at no charge' and this has enabled the service to charge patients what they can afford, rather than the accepted counselling rate that most counsellors would expect to be paid for their professional services.

"Many hundreds of patients have been recipients of this generosity, and it has promoted with the group of counsellors at Confide a strong feeling of giving service to those in need in this community.

"Financially, every one of the 31 years has been a struggle, but through the work of this team of dedicated professionals, Confide has kept going.

"Sadly the reorganisation of mental health provision in Shropshire has resulted in the cancellation of two long-standing contracts. This has resulted in a considerable loss of revenue and despite considerable efforts to obtain alternative funding, the trustees regret that their is no option other than to close Confide."

Mr Bridgeland was keen to stress that there were other professional counselling services operating in the county, details of which are available on the Roy Fletcher Centre website.

This week it was revealed that children across Shropshire are waiting up to two years for an important mental health assessment and last month a health watchdog has recommended that improvements need to be made surrounding help with mental health for expecting and new parents.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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