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

Relate MTB is a local, independent charity, offering professional relationship counselling, find out more at

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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 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.


The hopes and tears of the most romantic day of the year

How important is celebrating Valentine’s Day to you? Is it all red roses or just a thorny issue in your relationship?

Relate MTB relationship experts say that our expectations for romantic occasions – such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries – are actually shaped in our childhood years by the actions of the adults around us.

So to make sure you meet the expectations of the one you love on February 14th have a chat now about how their parents marked special occasions and pick up some valuable Valentine clues.

Our counsellor, Liz, says Valentine’s Day expectations are a familiar relationship stumbling block, explaining: “How people demonstrate their love – through words, touch, actions, gifts or time dedicated to spend together – gives us a better understanding of how they want to receive love themselves. A mis-match or lack of understanding can quickly turn into ‘He doesn’t buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day, therefore he doesn’t love me’. But often it is just an aspect of how we were brought up.”

The sooner a couple bring these issues to a professional counsellor the sooner any love mis-match can be redressed, says Liz.

Local charity Relate MTB has been providing high quality relationship advice across our communities for more than 50 years and last year delivered counselling to nearly 2,000 people.

So whether you have been together for six weeks or sixty years, have a little chat about your hopes for the most romantic day of the year and avoid any thorny issues.

Visit for more relationship advice and to see our full range of counselling services.



Funding for new Mobile Information Stand

Thanks to the NHB Micro Grant we received from Aylesbury Vale District Council, Relate MTB has a smart, mobile information stand that we can take out to local events and meetings.

It enables us to reach out into communities to share the wide range of counselling available to local people and the many ways that Relate MTB counselling can improve people’s relationships and well-being – we offer so much more than ‘marriage guidance’.

Relate MTB Operations Manager Emma Winter said: “Our new mobile information stand provides an eye-catching presentation of our services that we will take ‘on the road’. Many people who are hesitant to make that important first step in contacting us will be able to browse information about our services, giving them the confidence to start a friendly and informal initial conversation. We are very grateful to the NHB Micro Grant and to Aylesbury Vale District Council for making this possible.”

If you are organising a community event or your club welcomes along speakers, please email Emma:


Thank you to Kop Hill Climb



A record-breaking year for the popular Kop Hill Climb Festival will benefit Relate MTB clients thanks to a donation by the organisers to our Bursary Funding Scheme.

The Kop Hill Climb is held in September in the Chiltern Hills, featuring cars, motor bikes, fair rides, music and a thrilling soapbox kart race – all thanks to a team of hard-working volunteers and helpers.

We are delighted to have been awarded £1,000 from the proceeds, via Heart of Bucks, to our Bursary Funding Scheme to support clients from Wycombe District who would not otherwise be able to access professional relationship counselling.

As a small, local charity, with no statutory funding, nor funding from Wycombe District Council, we rely on charitable donations and income from clients who are able to pay full fees to provide high quality counselling to local people who are not in a position to pay.

Next year the Kop Hill Climb Festival will take place on September 21-22, to find out more please visit

To make a donation to Relate MTB’s Bursary Funding Scheme, click here.

Christmas Advice and Tips

Relate MTB’s advice for avoiding festive fall-outs

Christmas can put an added strain on relationships and if you are already experiencing issues then added ‘festive pressures’ such as financial woes and family rows can push things to breaking point.

Have a conversation now about what’s not working , just starting to have those difficult conversations can take some of the pressure off before you’re all jammed in at home together for a week.

Relate MTB counsellors provide professional relationship counselling for couples, families and individuals all year round with counselling rooms in our local communities. Below are our tips to avoid falling-out over the festive break.

To find out more about our counselling services browse this website and you can email us using our ‘contact’ page – our offices are open until December 21 and again from January 2.

Relate’s advice for avoiding Christmas fall-outs

DO agree a budget. Sit down with your partner and decide what you want Christmas to look like, versus what you can actually afford and agree a budget. This might take some compromise, particularly if you have different attitudes to money. Keep checking in so there aren’t any nasty surprises come January.

DO divide up tasks. Talk about what needs to happen, such as buying presents, tidying the house, preparing food and decorating. Divide up tasks based on your skills and interests and empower the kids by getting them to choose which chores they will do.

DO carve out me and us time. When you’re with a big family group for several days, it’s important to take time out so you don’t burn out. Go to your room for a while and enjoy a cuddle or get up early to go for a morning run together. Have a bath to relax and unwind.

DON’T let it fester. If your partner does something to upset you, ask them if you can talk to them in private rather than kicking off in front of the family. If there are guests around, head to the garden or go together to run an errand and discuss things properly then.

DO give people equal attention. You may have your favourite relatives who you prefer to hang out with or a child who you have a particularly strong bond with or common interests with, but try to make an effort with everyone so that people don’t feel left out or unwanted.

DON’T drink too much booze. It can be tempting to get carried away on Christmas Day, particularly if conversation isn’t flowing easily or if somebody has rubbed you up the wrong way. Unfortunately, too much alcohol when you’re already in a bad mood can be a recipe for an unmerry Christmas and an awkward New Year.