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Project information

Alton Counselling - Going forward

Alton Counselling Service wants to make itself more accessible to anyone who experiencing difficulty coping with their lives, reduce client waiting times, and enhance the depth of experience in its counselling service over a two year period to the end of 2013

January 2012 - December 2013

Charity information: Alton Counselling Service

Alton Counselling Service logo
  • Need


    Low self esteem or depression can be rooted in physical health, social or economic problems. Disability, illness, bereavement or loss of employment can all trigger the need to seek help. The NHS/PCT no longer provide any counselling service in the North and East of Hampshire, and it falls to the third sector to address these needs.


    ACS wants to increase the provision in North East Hampshire of counselling and therapy to a highly professional standard at a cost that is affordable to clients and with the tenet that nobody be denied access to its service solely for financial reasons. We also want to make our services more accessible and well known to the public, so that people more readily approach us directly and are not just referred by GPs or other agencies.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduce the time between first contact with ACS and commencement of therapy to 6 weeks.


    » Train additional intake assessors so that there are always at least three qualified to undertake initial client intake interviews
    » Have enough counsellors in service so that the needs of clients can be quickly matched with appointment times.
    » Identify suitable sufficient premises so that meeeting rooms are available for appointments when needed

    What success will look like

    Only those clients with limited availabilityy for appointments will have to wait longer than 6 weeks to begin regular weekly therapy

  • Impact


    Certainty for a new client about how soon regular weekly sessions of therrapy can begin.
    Success can be demonstrated via the log which is maintained for each client recording the date of first contact, the date of intake assessment and the date on whiich regular therapy commenced


    The risk is that ACS does not attract sufficient clients, and thus the aim of reducing client waiting times is achieved by default.
    To ensure this does not occur, we are active in promoting ourselves wiih all kinds of referrers, jncluding GPs, Social Workers, advice bureaus as well as publicity via our website and the local press to increase thhe number of self-referrals.


    The aims of the plan will be monitored at the monthly management committee meetings; in turn, the management committee will report to the trustees every quarter. Donors may receive extracts of the relevant minutes, either monthly or quarterly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,800

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,500 Salaries Payment to experienced counsellors
      £2,300 Supervision Cost of additional supervisor
      £3,000 Premises Need for additional counselling rooms
      £1,000 Training Additional training of intake assessors
  • Background


    ACS is located in Alton, East Hampshire. Alton is a typical rural town, sustaining a mixture of industry, agriculture, commerce and artisans. Our clients come from within a 15 mile radius of the town. Our counsellors come from within a 25 mile radius. Our clients comprise a cross section of society, including disabled people. Alton is home to Treloar's, which caters for severely disabled young people.


    Now that the NHS/PCT has ceased to provide or fund counselling in the area, any person seeking counselling other than through a private practice will have to rely on the third sector. ACS is the only third sector provider of counselling in the immediate area, and thus any person who would have relied on a local surgery for therapy will stand to benefit. Society as a whole also benefits through the improvement in people's outlook on their lives that counselling can bring about.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are an established service, members of WPF Therapy and BACP accredited. Our rates are significantly below those of private practitioners, and we have a philosophy that no person should be denied counselling solely for financial reasons. Counselling is a recognised means of enhancing the value of people to society, and with budget constraints causing the NHS/PCT to encourage use of the third sector, we are the sole local provider.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Susan Forster - Head Of Counselling

    Susan is responsible for the development oof the clinical aspects of ACSS

    Charles Bailey

    Charles has overall responsibility too the Trustees for ACS

    Nickie Foskett - Service Administrator

    Nickie is usually the first person to whom a new client speaks . She manages all appointments and counselling rooms.