Its day two of Small Charities Week, a week where small but vital organisations across the UK receive some recognition for their work.
We are doing the same here at Support Cambridgeshire, albeit with a distinctly Cambridgeshire flavour.
Yesterday we heard about Camtrust – today its the turn of the Cogwheel Trust CIO (Help when life has slipped out of gear).
And similarly to yesterday, any additional Support Cambridgeshire comments will be italicised to ensure clarity and ownership.
What do Cogwheel do?
The Cogwheel Trust provides affordable counselling to financially disadvantaged adults and children in Cambridgeshire. They offer counselling in Cambridge, Ely and Sawston.
People seek help with depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, anger, and other complex multi dimensional issues. In 2017, The Trust offered weekly one-to-one counselling to over 600 people. The process starts with a senior counsellor assessment about what’s troubling the person and what they hope to gain from counselling. Following this, they are assigned to an appropriate counsellor for weekly sessions. These regular sessions with the same counsellor provide a space, in often hectic lives, for people to explore their difficulties and understand their part in the situations they find themselves in. Research shows that early intervention is the most effective solution to many mental well-being issues.
When did this start?
The Trust was founded in 1988, so for those mathematicians amongst you they will be celebrating their 30th anniversary this year (as an aside 1988 was the year in which the Doppler Radar was invented and the winter olympics took place in Calgary in Canada).
In recent years the Trust has seen a significant increase in the severity of people’s distress. However, counselling at Cogwheel remains very effective, as shown by their outcome statistics and client feedback. There are also some encouraging signs, like the increased public focus on young men’s mental health struggles. This awareness-raising is vital, and Cogwheel is there to help meet these needs, as and when they arise.
What are their challenges?
Their waiting lists are currently longer than they would like and their children’s work is heavily over-subscribed. More support will enable Cogwheel to employ more counsellors so that they can reduce the time people must wait before they are seen, and expand their valued children’s service.
To be able to do this Cogwheel need funds to subsidise the cost of their services. Clients are all asked to contribute, and most pay between £10 – £15 a week (self-declaring an annual family income of under £20,000). This leaves Cogwheel with a shortfall of £20-25 per session. Counselling at Cogwheel is extremely cost-effective because it is provided by volunteers, some of whom are in the final stages of their counselling training.
If you wish to help or donate visit their website by clicking here:
What are people saying about them?
In 1991 they were married but, as time went by, all was not well, “when the children were small we found that we were getting out of synch with each other “.
They approached The Cogwheel Trust for help and, Cogwheel’s “Christian-inspired counselling service offered just the help we needed. Our marriage was put back on track, and we haven’t looked back. Our relationship has just got richer.”
On their 25th Wedding Anniversary they celebrated with family and friends and invited them to donate to The Cogwheel Trust in gratitude for help they had received, and the impact it had had on their lives.
Cogwheel relationship counselling is not just for couples who are experiencing difficulties, but also for those who would like to understand each other better. Talking together with a qualified professional can make a real difference to a relationship.
Cambridgeshire couple (Undated).
Support Cambridgeshire commentary:
We all seem to live very hectic lives, and most research shows that our concerns or issues are becoming more complex and multi dimensional. If we find it difficult to cope as adults on occasions, imagine how children must feel. Research studies have shown that 1 in 10 children who live in the UK aged 5 to 16 years have a clinically diagnosable mental disorder. Boys were more likely to have a problem than girls and prevalence increased with age. Girls were more likely to have emotional problems whereas boys were more likely to report conduct or hyperactivity problems.
In March 2015 the government pledged £1.25 billion to improve children and young people’s mental health services over the next 5 years. In tandem with this announcement the Department of Health and NHS England published ‘Future in mind’, detailing the work of the children and young people’s mental health and well-being taskforce, which was set up to identify ways of improving mental health services and access to these services for children and young people.
Organisations like The Cogwheel Trust CIO play a vital role in providing advice, support and a listening ear when people need it most. Life can slip out of gear for most of us from time to time, so its only right and proper that Cogwheel feature in our series this week.