Two decades of services at Cedar House in Preston proves it is good to talk
Having someone to talk to about how you are feeling can be one step towards helping to solve the problem.
Counsellors at Cedar House have been providing therapeutic support to people at its base in Mount Street, Preston, for 20 years.
To mark the occasion, the registered charity held an open day, inviting Preston Mayor, Coun Trevor Hart, to attend.
Founder, Hazel Sewell MBE, gave a talk on the history and development of the service and spoke about her joy over how the charity has progressed over the years.
Volunteer Charlotte Hubback says: “It was a really fantastic day. Everyone works so hard and it was great to take the time to celebrate. I am excited, proud and pleased to be marking Cedar House’s 20th anniversary. Here is to the next 20 years.”
Cedar House opened in 1998, initially with a special focus on pregnancy-related crises. But the service has developed over the years and now offers counselling on a wide range of issues to men and women alike.
It has 60 volunteer counsellors, 22 other volunteers and two part-time staff. It provide up to 120 counselling appointments each week.
Last month the counsellors saw 491 clients, from Preston and the surrounding areas.
Cedar House also is a counselling placement provider for University of Central Lancashire and local colleges.
Pauline Chadwick, manager, says: “Cedar House provides low-cost counselling, which is an essential service, to local people.
“Counselling here is simply an opportunity to talk over difficulties or problems in a relaxed and friendly environment with someone who is trained to listen and to help you to find your way forward.
“While we might be able to help you to understand why you feel the way you do, we won’t interfere with your life or tell you what to do.
“Our clients tell us that there is a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Cedar House and it is our aim to make all our visitors feel accepted, respected and at home.
“Our building is neither posh nor clinical – but people seem to like it that way.
“Our team of dedicated counsellors, both men and women, are all volunteers and are trained to professional standards, many with years of experience.
“All our volunteers and staff are caring and committed to the important work of helping people get to grips with difficult areas of their lives.
“Our clients come to us in different ways. They can be referred by a GP, hospital department, domestic violence agency, or recommended by a friend.
“They come due to many life-restricting problems such as depression, anxiety, terminations, miscarriages, bereavements or if they are victims of abuse.
“Cedar House has grown out of the local Christian community and aims to provide a relevant, accessible and quality service to the people of Preston, available to all and without discrimination.
“With this in mind, we do not charge for the counselling service we offer, but we do request donations from those who are able.
“Any donation, however large or small will help us to continue offering our much needed service.”
One client, who wished to remain anonymous, adds: “I have been very fortunate to have been granted sessions at Cedar House. I appreciate the time people have spent evaluating my mental health problems and setting challenges to assist me in my recovery.
“The sessions have given me a new perspective in continuously trying to take back control of my life.
“I would not have been able to participate in the services Cedar House has to offer without the help of the staff and volunteers.
“Cedar House has supported me in my times of need and the counselling is exceptional.”