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£1000 donation to local young people counselling service

Newbury Building Society awarded local young people counselling service, Time to Talk West Berkshire, £1000 from their Community Support Scheme to assist with the digitalisation of their services ahead of a second Covid-19 lockdown.

Sian Dennis (Newbury Building Society) and Tammy Willsher (Time to Talk West Berks)

The £1000 donation has trained five counsellors in digital systems to improve their ability to conduct counselling sessions online as well as fund the running of the charity’s new online counselling team, offering free assessments and sessions to young people aged 11-25 in West Berkshire.

Talking about the donation, Tammy Willsher, Charity Services Manager at Time to Talk West Berkshire said: “As a local organisation offering free counselling to young people in West Berkshire, it's fantastic to be supported by other local companies such as Newbury Building Society. In the light of the pandemic we need help now more than ever, we are extremely grateful for the Society’s support, we were absolutely delighted to receive this donation. It's a lovely thought that we are all working together to improve the lives of young people who live and work in our local area.”

To-date, the service supports on average over 500 young people each year with more than 5,000 sessions, with demand rapidly increasing.

Tammy continued: “This is a particularly difficult time for young people, the pandemic is without doubt affecting mental health in a major way. Additional funds are particularly needed at this time to help us meet an increased demand for our service. Perhaps the impact of our service is best summed up by one of our users: "Time to Talk helped me to own my story and the difficulties attached to it. Owning our stories, although hard is not nearly as heavy as running from them for the rest of our lives. Shame dies when we speak our difficult experiences in a safe space. Time to Talk is a phenomenal service."

Sian Dennis, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer visited the charity before lockdown and said: “We are delighted to award Time to Talk West Berkshire with a cheque for £1000. Mental health is at a tipping point and with a second lockdown upon us and other Covid-19 factors restricting community outreach, it has never been more important to equip charities with the funds they need to continue assisting the local community any way they can.”

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