Edward Gostling Foundation Visit

Renu Ghale, Grants Manager and colleague Julie Stearn from the Edward Gostling Foundation visited Relate Mid Thames and Bucks at 4 Marlow Road Community centre to meet with Relate MTB Chair – Janice Campbell, Relate Counsellor – Petra Booth, Relate Centre Director – Fiona Greenfield and RBWM Councillor – Phil Haseler.

Edward Gostling has awarded a grant to Relate MTB to fund limited counselling sessions for Berkshire patients going through cancer.

see previous post for more details

Edward Gostling Foundation funds sessions for Berkshire cancer patients

Relate MTB is able to provide a limited number of funded counselling sessions for cancer patients in Berkshire thanks to a grant from The Edward Gostling Foundation (www.edwardgostlingfoundation.org.uk).

Caroline Kendall, EGF’s Operations Director said:

“The Edward Gostling Foundation is delighted to support Relate MTB with a grant to help to support people with a diagnosis of cancer.  We believe that any person living with an illness / disability and their loved ones should be able to access the best possible care for their health and wellbeing”.

This counselling is available to people in Berkshire affected by a cancer diagnosis, and their loved ones, to help to navigate their relationships through the psychological and emotional impacts, improving health and well-being.

Patients can self-refer, by calling Relate MTB on 01628 625320; by emailing enquiries@relatemtb.co.uk or through our website http://www.relatemtb.co.uk/contact/ 
CNS’s (Clinical Nursing Specialists) can also send  referrals to us using the same contact details.

1 assessment appointment and up to 5 counselling sessions are covered, these are held in either Maidenhead or Windsor.

Impacts of cancer on relationships

Our experienced counsellors, who have had extra training in cancer awareness, can meet with you on your own, with your partner, or with other family members including children, parents or siblings to help you talk through:
• changes and problems with relationships because one of you has cancer
• difficulties talking to and supporting each other
• problems talking to children, or parents and other relatives about cancer
• challenges in getting ‘back to normal’, as a couple or family, when cancer treatment is finished
• the impact on intimacy and sex life resulting from surgery, treatment, altered body image, tiredness or anxiety.

One recent Relate MTB client, referred by her nurse after successful cancer treatment, said: “It has been the worst year of my life but I have conquered so much, I feel that I have come out the other end stronger than ever thanks to the counselling I received from Relate.”

Relate MTB is continuing to apply for grants to extend provision of this funded counselling so please email sally.stevens@relatemmtb.co.uk if know of any charitable organisations that may be able to help.

A New Programme For Parents

Relate MTB is working in partnership with Tavistock Relationships as part of the Parenting Together Support Programme for people living in Buckinghamshire.  Funding is  provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is available for two years from 2019-2021.

Sessions are free to couples who are together or separated who have children, workless families will be given priority.  During the programme both partners will have the opportunity to work on their relationship, be given support by a Relate Counsellor to find ways to overcome stress and disagreements by learning new techniques and obtain tools to achieve a more positive parenting experience.

All referrals need to come through the central gateway.  If you feel you are working with a Buckinghamshire family who maybe suitable for this programme then please contact Relate MTB by email: enquiries@relatemtb.co.uk or call: 01628 625320 and we would be happy to assist you.

For more details please read our Information for Referrers sheet



SWAMI 2019

On Saturday 27th July Relate Mid Thames and Bucks took part in this year’s Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Community Initiative SWAMI 2019.  Relate MTB set up a stall alongside 20 other stall holders all local community organisations and charities.  Relate MTB showcased it’s recent funding from The Edward Gostling Foundation – a grant to support people living in Berkshire to access cancer counselling as well as its other work offering therapeutic supporting to individuals, couple and families.

Emma Winter, Relate MTB Operations Manager said “Despite a rainy start the event went very well, we managed to give out a lot of our publicity material – Relate lollies, pens and most importantly literature about our work.  Most people in Windsor didn’t seem to realise that we have a venue locally so it was good to inform them that we are based in Apple Physio on Osbourne Road opposite the Princess Margaret Hospital Map and directions.

Thanks to the Louis Baylis Trust

Maidenhead’s Louis Baylis Charitable Trust has awarded £2,000 towards the cost of maintaining our excellent standards of relationship counselling for local people.

The grant will help to provide CPD (Continuing Professional and Development) and training to our team of counsellors in 2019-2020.

Our annual programme of CPD and training ensures that clients continue to benefit from our counsellors’ up-to-date knowledge and insights into the challenges that the broad range of challenges and issues life throws at us have on our relationships as couples, families and individuals of all ages.

In addition our training programme ensures that our team have the latest information and contacts to be able to make the most appropriate interventions and referrals to other local organisations, including for people whose relationships are affected by drug and/or alcohol dependency, domestic violence, sexual abuse, abusive relationships and controlling behaviour.

Our commitment to quality CPD and training also helps Relate MTB in attracting high calibre qualified counsellors and new counsellors in training. (For more about becoming a Relate MTB counsellor please visit our Work for Relate page)

Centre Director Fiona Greenfield said: “We are very grateful to the Trustees of the Louis Baylis Charitable Trust for their continued support and for their recognition of the value Relate MTB brings to our community. Their understanding of local needs and the contributions that small, local charities like ours make is a real asset to local people.”


Relate MTB opens new counselling room at Chiltern Hills Academy, Chesham

Relate Mid Thames & Buckinghamshire (Relate MTB) is delighted to be offering relationship counselling in Chesham in a new comfortable, accessible setting thanks to Chiltern Hills Academy.

Our professional counsellors are providing local support for couples, individuals and families.

Relate MTB Centre Director, Fiona Greenfield, said: “We have already been made to feel very welcome in our new setting and I want to thank everyone at Chiltern Hills Academy and within our own team who have made this very positive move possible.

“Chiltern Hills Academy is a real community hub and we are proud to be adding another dimension to the services that are already on offer here. They stepped in when we were told we needed to leave the Chess Centre and we are so pleased to offer existing and new clients a convenient, informal and relaxing setting for our vital service.”

Kevin Patrick, Principal of Chiltern Hills Academy, said: “We are pleased that Relate MTB approached us.  We are a school that strives to be at the heart of the community. Our values and ethos are based around the seven Christian values of love, hope, compassion, respect, forgiveness, honesty and self-discipline, the work undertaken by Relate MTB clearly embodies these values.”

Relate MTB’s team of highly qualified counsellors serve the local community, including disadvantaged and vulnerable people, providing a high quality, reliable and confidential service for people who are feeling isolated and vulnerable.

Although the charity requests a fee from clients who are in a position to pay, many are not and the balance of the cost of delivering skilled, expert counselling and support is met from Relate MTB’s Bursary Funding Scheme.

To make an appointment for relationship counselling at Chiltern Hills Academy, Chartridge Lane, Chesham HP5 2RG, please call Relate MTB on 01494 791180 or email enquiries@relatemtb.co.uk

Relate MTB is a local, independent charity, offering professional relationship counselling, find out more at www.relatemtb.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @RelateMTB and on Facebook Relate Mid Thames & Buckinghamshire

Relate MTB Taster Evening welcomes potential counsellors

Latest News, May 2019

What is it like to be a Relate counsellor? This month we invited a group of people who have asked just that to a taster evening to meet our RelateMTB team.

A mix of our supervisors, experienced counsellors and trainees at varying stages met with a dozen people who have contacted us to express an interest in joining the RelateMTB team, which serves East Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

They were given a flavour of the different types of counselling we provide, what is involved in training, the hours we work and what a training placement involves.

Centre Director Fiona Greenfield said: “The taster evening gave potential trainee counsellors the chance to meet us in a relaxed setting, rather than a formal interview, and to have one-to-one conversations to find out what working with us would look like. It was a really useful way to get to know more about each other and exactly what is involved in being part of the RelateMTB team.”

The next step is for our guests to confirm that they would like to start the interview process towards training for a Certificate in Couple Counselling delivered by the Institute of Family Therapy (IFT) and a 1-year training placement on a volunteer basis, which involves 17 IFT training days. The next course starts on October 1st and costs £2,380 which includes materials, tutor marking etc.

The minimum entry criteria is a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling & Listening Skills or equivalent.

Read more about working as a RelateMTB counsellor

M-Word campaign

Relate partners with Lloyds Bank on their M-Word campaign

As we know from our work counselling individuals, couples and families, money can be difficult to talk about so we are pleased that Relate is partnering with Lloyds Bank on the M-Word campaign.

As financial pressures increase and the impact of cut-backs on spending on local services bite, we see a rise in the number of local people whose relationships are affected by money issues. Not talking about money worries is a source of stress, anxiety, and unnecessary problems for many couples and families.

Relate has co-produced a leaflet with tips for talking about money which is available in every Lloyds branch and we have provided simple-to-follow advice which is featured on the online M-Word campaign hub.

Remember that whatever is causing tensions in your relationship, or if you just want to keep things going smoothly with a relationship MOT, you can book an appointment at one of our local counselling rooms to meet one of our friendly, expert relationship counsellors.

Email enquiries@relatemtb.co.uk or call your local Relate MTB:

Maidenhead / Windsor / Slough  01628 625320

Aylesbury / Princes Risborough 01296 427973

Chesham / High Wycombe 01494 791180

Relate MTB – delivering relationship counselling in Chesham

Our valuable community service is fighting to stay in Chesham, where we have been providing relationship counselling to local people, regardless of their ability to pay, since the 1980s.

Relate Mid Thames & Buckinghamshire (MTB) is searching for affordable and comfortable counselling rooms as a massive proposed rent increase means counsellors must move from The Chess Centre.

As a small, independent charity, we provide high quality, professional counselling to the local community, charging a fee to those who can afford to pay and offering support from our Bursary Funding Scheme to top-up the fees of those who cannot.

Centre Director Fiona Greenfield says: “We had hoped that The Chess Centre would be our home for many years and we are struggling to find suitable alternative accommodation.

“If we cannot find anywhere, local people who are going through tough times and are feeling vulnerable will have no alternative but to travel to one of our other counselling centres. We desperately want to avoid that but at the same time, as a charitable organisation, we cannot afford top commercial hourly rates.

“We are hoping that an organisation committed to supporting the well-being of the local community will step in and offer suitable accommodation at a realistic hourly rate.”

In 2017-18 Relate MTB delivered 453 counselling sessions in Chesham, and on average 17% were supported through our Bursary Funding Scheme.

To continue to serve the Chesham community we need:

  • 2 counselling rooms, which are smart and comfortable
  • with easy access
  • available for a couple of hours on weekday evenings.

In return we would be able to offer a realistic hourly rent and, depending on the host organisation, we could offer in-kind counselling services, such as training or well-being sessions for staff.

Fiona adds: “We serve disadvantaged and vulnerable people of all ages and backgrounds within the community – families, couples, parents, blended families and grandparents – providing a high quality, reliable and confidential service for people who are feeling isolated and vulnerable.

“We are often the first point of contact for people in distress, people in Chesham rely on us and we want to stay in the town to continue to make a difference to their relationships and well-being, as we have done for nearly 40 years.”

The opening of our Windsor counselling room was covered by the local media and community TV. Pictured below is our President, Tim Brooke-Taylor OBE, accepting our recent grant from the Prince Philip Trust Fund.