New home for Lancaster and Morecambe support group
A support group which helps people with mental health problems has found a new home after a desperate search around the district.
Access Counselling Service is a not-for-profit community interest company which had been based in Trinity Community Centre in Middle Street, Lancaster, but staff were told last autumn that the building – owned by United Reformed Church – was being sold.
The team made a plea through the Lancaster Guardian in September to find new premises which they could afford and which would suit their clients, and have now opened up in a property in Morecambe.
The service has been in place for six years, and up to 50 per cent of its referrals now come from the NHS.
Clients pay what they can afford to access the service, and the group is run on a shoestring.
Therapist and director Linda Chapman said the service struggled to afford any other premises in Lancaster city centre.
“We got lots of people phoning up but a lot of them couldn’t offer us enough space, but we were grateful to them,” she said.
“We are now renting a space at 34 Northumberland Street in Morecambe.
“It came available in September and we took over the lease from January 1.
“It’s a three-year lease so we are feeling really happy to be settled now, and we want to thank everyone that offered us help. Everybody has been so wonderful.”
Help from local businesses included Edmondson’s loaning the team a van to help with the move, three men from Work Solutions Ltd helping them to move and Lune Fire protection giving the service a discount on their fire safety checks.
The group currently supports around 100 children and young people with mental health issues aged from six upwards, working closely with other mental health services and peer support.
Anyone who needs help can contact Access Counselling service at http://access-counselling-cic.co.uk/ or on Facebook at @affordablecounselling or on Twitter at @WeWillHearYou
The group’s new contact number is 01524 425464.