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.