Pictured are Nigel McClea and Moira Start of Wellspring and the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, outside Wellspring’s new premises
Wellspring Therapy & Training, the Harrogate-based counselling and training centre, is celebrating a double triumph.
The mental health charity has raised more than £80,000 towards its target of £200,000 to enable it to move into new premises to cope with the growing demand for its services.
The charity is relocating from Prospect Road, Starbeck, to nearby St Andrew’s Vicarage, which has recently been bought by The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.
Wellspring will lease the vicarage and will be moving in later this year, after an extensive refurbishment. In another boost, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, has agreed to become the charity’s sole patron.
He said: “For many people with mental health issues, timely access to good quality talking therapy is essential. And at a time when access to that provision is at a premium, charities like Wellspring provide a crucial service, so I am very glad to offer my support by becoming their patron.”
The well-respected charity, which was founded in 2003, provides affordable short and long-term counselling for the Harrogate and district community.
Moira Start, the chair of Wellspring’s trustees, said: “These are exciting and rewarding times for everyone associated with our charity. We have been humbled by the generosity of so many people and organisations, which has helped us to raise nearly £100,000 since we launched our appeal last autumn.
“We still need over £100,000 to transform the vicarage into the first-class training and counselling centre, and we will be redoubling our fund-raising efforts this year, but we are sustained by the kindness we have experienced so far.
“At the same time, we are so delighted that the Bishop of Leeds has so readily agreed to become our patron. As one of the very senior members of the Church of England, with so many demands on his time, this is a wonderful honour and a real endorsement of what we are trying to achieve.
Emily Fullarton, the director of Wellspring, said: “The demand for our services in the Harrogate area is growing fast, which is why we need to expand. We have been very happy with our premises at Prospect Road, but they simply aren’t big enough now.”
“In the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health issue at least once in their lifetime. According to local research, many people in Harrogate assume because it is a ‘nice town’ people don’t struggle with these issues.
“That simply isn’t true. There is a huge demand in Harrogate for our services and it’s increasing. The NHS, which is responsible for mental health care, needs our support. In 2015, for example, 44 per cent of our referrals came from the NHS.”
“What makes Wellspring’s work unique is that we offer affordable long-term, open-ended counselling where needed. Unfortunately, this type of therapy is not currently widely available from the NHS. Most private counselling typically costs between £40-60 for each session, but many of our clients are unable to afford this.
“We aim to restore hope, develop resilience and facilitate positive change in people’s lives. We are passionate about enabling people to find healing and seeing them move towards emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Rebecca Bletcher of The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to provide support to Wellspring to enable them to pursue their expansion plans. Their ethos and aims tie in with the Foundation’s objects perfectly; to help and support people from all backgrounds. We feel honoured to be part of the team.”
Emily Fullarton added: “Our new premises are very special. Apart from being so close to where we are now, which is a massive bonus for our clients, and large enough to cope with demand, they were also the home of our founding director, Elaine Wainaina, so it all seems like an answer to our prayers.”