Supporters Cafe

   

This is intended as a place for supporters of Reach and Team to gain an insight into the work that you are making possible. Please read on…

Welcome to the Reach Supporters Cafe

A Heavenly Experience

by Andy Bond, Co-ordinator

Who knew heaven was so dusty?

It is wonderful that so many people continue to experience Reach as a place where they can bring whatever they are carrying. Sometimes they bring matters that have been disturbing them for many years, even decades, in the hope of finding an acceptant therapeutic relationship that can be transformative. We now know that this same dynamic can take place even when the client is hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away, via phone and video (which now accounts for about a third of all appointments). We are so grateful to our counsellors for the sensitive and skilful relationships they build that enable this.

This is never taken for granted, as counsellors commit to their own regular supervision, collegiate support and continuing professional development. Further surrounded by the care, resources and encouragement provided by our Reach supporters (Partners and Friends). This really does seem to create a very special environment of hope and healing. As one client said:

When I step through the door here, it is like a little bit of heaven on earth.

Our Appointments’ Manager, Mal, brought us beautifully back down to earth when she heard about this quote, and responded with:

I didn’t know heaven was so dusty!

Whether it is conveying an atmosphere of heavenly hope, or facing the day-to-day practical challenges of managing, or not managing, the dusting, these are the opportunities and challenges Reach continues to face. We are so grateful for everyone who plays their part in making all this possible (…and we would actually be very grateful for anyone who wants to volunteer a little time to assist with administration or cleaning and freshening up our Liverpool office!).

Our New Name is…

Reach Counselling Ltd.

This might not sound dramatically different, since we have been formally known as Reach Merseyside Ltd since our foundation. We are still Reach, just with a different ending! However, as we now have face to face counselling in several locations way beyond Merseyside, and phone and video counselling with individuals and couples from all across the UK and even beyond, something which we would have never foreseen, it seems an appropriate change.

Our new name: Reach Counselling Ltd more accurately reflects who we are and what we do now. We will continue to present ourselves as Reach Christian Counselling on our website and elsewhere, but anyone looking for us with our bank or via the charity commission website will find Reach Counselling Ltd.

For he’s a jolly good fellow, and so are all of you!

The Association of Christians in Counselling has recently awarded Andy, our co-ordinator, a Fellowship of the ACC. They said this was:

in light of exceptional commitment and service to Christian Counselling and the ACC through his leadership of Reach.

Andy was pleased to accept this, particularly as it brings national acknowledgement of the work that Reach has done, and in his reply he said:

This is only possible because of the remarkable commitment of the Reach counsellors, team, trustees and supporters, and the near 6000 clients we have worked with.

He also wants to say to all the Reach team, trustees and supporters:

It is not just that this wouldn’t have been possible without all of you, you are the only people who have stepped up to this challenge of caring for these people in need in this way. A lot is said about standing in the gap. You have done that for adults, children and couples who have at times been in their darkest and lowest places. Thank you for what you have done, and continue to do, that has led to over 6000 people finding the counselling help they were looking for, and now to some national recognition.

Could you be 1 of 12 in 24?

We are all aware that Jesus did quite a lot with 12 people, to put it mildly. We are not looking for our 12 to achieve quite that much! This year, the rent on the Reach Liverpool base and counselling rooms has increased by about 30% (after some negotiation). As you will appreciate, this is a significant increase, and one we don’t have the regular income to fully cover.

However, if there were 12 people who would each commit to give £80 per month for a few years, that would fully cover our whole rent each year. We are so grateful, that we have Partners who already give at this level, and some at even higher levels.

What we are hoping, and asking for, is that some other Partners may be in a position to increase their giving to £80, or that other people may see this as the right time to come on board as new Partners in order to cover the rent in this way for a number of years ahead. Our Liverpool base is a place where many, many people have found safety and hope across the last few decades, and is the hub for the work across all our sites. Knowing the rent was covered in this way would be hugely relieving and free us to focus even more so on serving those who come to Reach for help.

To become 1 of the 12 please set up or amend a standing order for £80 to Reach Counselling Ltd, Lloyds Bank sort code 30-95-11 account number 01653548 or we can post a standing order form to you if you prefer. We hope to produce postcards that you will be able to pass on to anyone who may be interested in supporting Reach in this way.

Sharing Heart – Extending our Reach

During the last year Reach have been meeting with the trustees from Fountains Counselling. Fountains have been offering counselling in North Shropshire and Staffordshire since 1996. Like Reach, they are also affiliated to the Association of Christians in Counselling (ACC). Fountains contacted Reach as they were exploring ways to restart their counselling following various challenges, including the impact of the covid pandemic.

We have now progressed to agreeing a working partnership, in which: Reach will be responsible for managing the counselling in Shropshire and North Staffordshire using our usual systems, and Fountains will publicise it locally and provide financial support. The next step is to build a team of local counsellors.

Andy who has met with various combinations of the trustees from Fountains throughout the year says:

Each time we have met has been hugely encouraging as there has been such an evident sense of ‘sharing heart,’ as we have worked towards agreeing and launching this distinctive partnership. Hopefully, this will, once again, make this type of counselling available to those in need in Shropshire and North Staffordshire. This large region neatly connects directly with North Wales and Cheshire, where Reach already has some counselling presence.

6000 and counting!

In February 2024 we received our 6000th client. Last year in 2023, we held our highest ever number of appointments at 2762 across all sites in: Liverpool, Manchester, West Kirby, Chester, Sheffield and Wrexham and remotely. This is over 350 more than our previous highest year!

Pearl
Amy
Toni

Counsellors’ Notes

We are delighted to welcome Pearl (since our last update) as a Liverpool counsellor who will work on Thursdays. We also welcome Amy on a placement in Sheffield, as she completes her Masters. We are excited that she is the first person to join Kay in Sheffield. There is also encouragement, as both Toni and Greg have increased their Liverpool availability by an extra day, Toni is now doing Fridays as well as Mondays and Greg has moved from 3 to 4 days as he counsels Mondays through to Thursdays.

In more difficult news: Olu who was due to rejoin the counselling team, following a break of a few years, has put this on hold due to a recent diagnosis of myeloma and will be undergoing treatment for this. We always value your prayers as God leads you.

 

Wendy

A Tribute to Wendy Dykes

We were deeply saddened by the death of our dear colleague Wendy Dykes. While we knew she was unwell, we did not expect her passing to happen so quickly! Even though she was in her 80’s, she was still counselling and her energy was astonishing.

Wendy was our main counsellor in Chester for over 20 years, since we began counselling there in 2003. It is primarily due to her incredible work that over 600 individuals, children and young people, and married couples, have been helped through Reach’s work in Chester. She was a remarkable woman, whose faith, reliability, love for her clients and wonderful co-operation with her teammates made her a beloved colleague at Reach. We know she is now at rest and we pray that her family and those closest to her will find comfort as they grieve her significant loss. She will be greatly missed.

Together every week we are changing lives!

Reachfor a better life