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2017 impact report

We build resilience in communities by supporting adults, young people and children experiencing mental and emotional distress. Registered Charity No.1109545

At Beacon, we focus on having an impact on peoples’ lives, and 2017 was a year when we extended and deepened our impact in four key ways:

MIKE’s Story

1. Worked with partners in the public sector to develop guidance and support for people affected by the Manchester Attack in May, and used donations to Beacon from the public to fund trauma therapy for victims.

2. Relocating from two premises into a larger, single premises, increasing our total capacity for working with adults and improving accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

I was Mr Angry, I was hiding stuff, and bottling it all up. It’s not good to bottle things up and keep them to yourself, you need to sort things out.

3. Developing a range of new partnerships with charities who focus on young people and their mental health. This exciting work is leading to new services for young people and have more planned for 2018.

Counselling really helped me. My counsellor asked me questions and it turned out that I had loads of issues. There was loads of stuff that I didn’t know I’d talk about. My counsellor listened more than talked.

4. Restructuring the office team to better support volunteers, staff and contractors.

Because of counselling, my relationships with others have improved and my wife has seen the greatest difference. I used to sulk or go quiet as I didn’t want to argue. But it’s miles better now.

We have more to do and our challenge is to keep increasing our impact. This report shows in a great way how the hard work by our counsellors and staff leads to meaningful change in individual’s lives. Thank you to all at Beacon for their hard work and commitment throughout all the changes of the last year. James Harper Chief Executive

I was a bit sceptical as I’d never been to counselling before. I’d always been fighting my demons on my own. I thought that reaching out for help was a weakness.

I still have my ups and downs but I know how to handle my anger now. I can see it coming. I take myself away from the situation and deal with it.

Supporting adults OUR VISION


OUR work

A society where everyone is able to cope with distress and has the opportunity to enjoy a happy life.

We build resilience in communities by supporting adults, young people and children experiencing distress.

We provide one-toone counselling, group programmes and community projects.

Supporting Children & Young People Schools We provided specialist counselling and group programmes to support the wellbeing of children and young people. In 2017 we increased our levels of counselling to 20 primary and secondary schools across Greater Manchester. We offered clinical supervision and wellbeing support for staff in schools.

community projects Evolve Project - we provided counselling and emotional support to care leavers across Stockport

Donation-based service We believe that a person’s financial situation shouldn’t limit their access to high quality help and support. For that reason we offer a donationbased counselling service to support anyone, no matter what their financial situation is. Nexus Project Our Nexus project is designed to support those who are feeling suicidal and our suicide prevention counsellor can provide specialist long-term support. We launched this service in 2017 and supported 16 individuals throughout the year.

Liberty Project - we provided support for victims of child sexual exploitation in Stockport and Rochdale 2017 highlight: S.O.S Group - We set up a forum to hear young people’s voices when developing services across the borough.

Our values shape all that we do Brief Therapy Service Our brief therapy service provides quick access for up to 6 sessions. This IAPT service (Improving access to psychological therapies) had exceptional recovery rates in 2017 at 69%. Employee Wellbeing Programme Our employee wellbeing programme supports working adults across Stockport, including Stockport Council Employees. In 2017 78% of clients either stayed in work or returned to work because of Beacon’s counselling service. Beacon also had a counselling service at Disability Stockport and a Private Practice at Beacon House on Middle Hillgate.

In 2017 Beacon delivered counselling in 27 locations across Greater Manchester.

respectful We do not judge; we listen and understand. inclusive We are accessible to everyone and treat everyone as an individual. friendly We’re warm, caring and supportive. professional We care about the quality of what we do and we are committed to self-development. Can-d0 We are proactive, passionate and find the best way to provide support. SELF-CARE We practice what we preach, taking care of each other and ourselves.

ADULT Services 2017

JOHN’s Story


clients registered

Increased by 11% from 2016


counselling appointments attended


of people felt less anxious after completing therapy


of people felt less depressed after completing therapy

I was in a mess, mentally. It had been such a difficult time. I’d lost my parents, been robbed, been in hospital, and then the sale of my house didn’t go through. It was the last thing that tipped me over. I wanted someone to say to me, everything will be OK. You will come through it. To listen. I wanted someone in my position, to say, ‘I’ve been there.’ Just talking helped, being one

to one with another person without any interruptions. My counsellor was a listener, she understood. She was sympathetic but not in a ‘putting an arm around me’ way. We worked out why I had a breakdown, she listened. Having that bond with another person is amazing, the counsellor’s ability to sympathise and pay attention. They’re not tapping a pencil and looking out the window, my counsellor really cared. When I first came to counselling, I was introverted and not talking much to others. I wasn’t my bubbly self and people had started to notice. When I look back I was probably like a walking zombie. Through counselling my relationships improved, I was back to my usual self. My wife really noticed the difference towards the end, it had taken a while. I got back my humour and wit back, even with strangers. I really felt like I was ‘back on track’.

Counselling helped me to care more about others. When I came for counselling, a bike was tied up and the wheels missing and I started to think about the poor person who’d come back to that. With counselling I learnt to look after myself. If I went on a downward spiral I could be sad, depressed for days. But I learnt that no matter how much worrying you do, you can’t alter the situation. You need to let it go. Take life…the cards you’ve been dealt, that’s what dealt. Make the best of it.

ADULT Services 2017

ERnie’s Story

I went to my GP because I’d lost my wife three years ago. It kept coming round and I got flashbacks. I said to myself sometimes ‘this is normal’, but I didn’t really know what ‘normal’ is. The GP gave me Beacon’s details. I was getting depressed and I thought that talking might help. I wondered if you would tell me what to do. Each week I came along and unloaded a burden on to you. Chatting and passing all of that on to you made it easier. Talking each time improved things because I could offload all of my thoughts. My family weren’t aware that I was going to counselling. I felt like I couldn’t share all of this with my family, I wanted to talk to an independent person. Family can be… too close and I didn’t want to worry them. But I was interested in talking to someone who wouldn’t criticise and who didn’t know much about me. That really helped. The family would have thought ‘we need to do this’. The problem with telling your family and friends is they have good intentions but don’t really realise what your problem is.

The counselling gave me a more positive outlook, I expected that this is what you do.

Given me strategies I can apply daily to help me refocus and lower stress and anxiety levels

I can’t understate how useful the service has been for working through some complex issues and restoring self-confidence

Amazingly safe space to vent and discuss feelings. Supportive, helpful and useful advice was given throughout. The knowledge that the continued support and care is always there, and some weeks it was the only thing getting me through

ADULT Services 2017 clients:


gender 32% MaLE

I was struggling. I had problems with my teenage daughter – she was abusing me. My friends and family gave advice which I couldn’t take. They got frustrated with me for not doing what they had said, but I didn’t find it helpful. I was in a deep hole and couldn’t get out. I had had a bereavement the year before - my mother. That was still raw. I could have coped with my daughter without losing my mum as well.

68% female


age range of clients by %


24 21


During the counselling I made changes to my ways of thinking. I did more things for myself, like getting out of the house. I am a single parent and I learnt to do more for myself, as before everything had revolved around my daughter. I started going to the gym and going on holiday with friends. Towards the end of counselling I could see the impact on my relationships. I told my daughter I was going for counselling and that it had helped.

7 3


1 81-90









I found it helpful to have someone listening and not judging me. Friends and family were not really listening and they would get annoyed. The counsellor offered different suggestions as to how to tackle things.

I was surprised at the mix of people in the waiting room: young and old, men and women. Everyone was really caring and I felt at ease.


young people helped

counselling sessions offered in


schools Most common themes:

Counselling has helped me so much these past few months and I couldn’t thank my counsellor any more for everything she has taught me

My Mum and Dad and all my friends say it’s nice to see me smiling again




low self-esteem

family in difficulty

friendship issues

I am now feeling very happy and have not felt sad in ages, it has really helped

3138 bullying

I don’t view other people so negatively, I’m generally feeling more calm

Thank you for helping me with building my confidence and gaining my voice back to be able to speak more confidently than before

No matter how bad a situation is, you’d be surprosed how helpful simply sharing is

Impact of counselling 8.1



our work in SCHOOLS


YOUNg people’s Services:

Young people were asked to rate how they felt before and after counselling (Out of 10 - 10 being ‘very happy, the best you’ve ever felt’ and 0 being ‘terrible’)

Feeling happy coming to school, feeling better in school

0.2 transgender 41.6% MaLE

58.2% female

Changed friends from drainers to radiators

age range of clients by % 17.1

15.2 15.2


1.4 1.4

3.4 2.5 2.8

6.3 5.6 6.8

5.8 3.7 1.1

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Age of client (years)

17% of the children that we worked with are eligible for free school meals/ pupil premium (14% national average) We also work with young people who are: looked after children, in child protection case planning, at risk of exclusion, poor attenders, have education, health and care plans.

Beacon counsellor Lisa shares her experience

our work in schools increased well-being Beacon uses the WEMWEBS scales to measure well-being. The average rise in the score for well-being was from 42 points to 52 points. This represents a significant increase in well-being, which is associated with better concentration and better management of emotions, essential in gaining the most from learning.

In particular Beacon noted a reduction in the negative results on the WEMWEBS scale. A number of statements were answered ‘Rarely’ or ‘None of the time’. These negative responses significantly reduced by the end of counselling: ‘I’ve been feeling useful (Rarely or none of the time)’ 42% (Start) down to 10% (End)

‘I’ve been feeling relaxed (Rarely or none of the time)’ 48% (Start) down to 15% (End)

‘I’ve been dealing with problems well (Rarely or none of the time)’ 45% (Start) down to 9% (End)

‘I’ve been feeling good about myself (Rarely or none of the time)’ 42% (Start) down to 10% (End)

‘I’ve been feeling confident (Rarely or none of the time)’ 43% (Start) down to 13% (End)

‘I’ve been thinking clearly (Rarely or none of the time)’ 39% (Start) down to 13% (End)

. The increase in wellbeing at the end of the sessions really encouraging. Your counsellor has made a significant difference to a number of our students. We saw this with the excellent GCSE results for a number of our vulnerable year 11 students who struggled this year. Deputy Headteacher, Secondary School

I have worked as a Schools Counsellor with Beacon for just over two years. I work in both primary and secondary schools across the Stockport and Manchester areas. Increasingly, there appears to be pressure on schools to provide more ‘in house’ support for their young people. This is due to both cut backs in outside service provision and the higher thresholds required to access those services. Schools often find themselves at ‘crisis point’ with some of their young people. I see first-hand the ever increasing pressures that teachers and support staff are under, and the stress this can cause. Trying to keep children in the classrooms and ultimately

the school can be a daily struggle. Children are often unable to engage due to the weight of issues they are burdened with. Young people can be referred to counselling for a number of issues, ranging from anxiety, friendship issues, grief and loss, to abuse and suicidal ideation and attempt. Sadly, the latter is becoming increasingly prevalent. Alongside this, academic pressures, developmental changes, social media and its associated peer pressure can result in young people feeling very isolated and withdrawn. School counselling can provide a safe environment in which young people begin to make sense of their often overwhelming feelings. Key to this is building a trusting and open relationship, which is fundamental for young people to share and work through their feelings. Within these conditions, change can be facilitated. Personally, I feel honoured to be a part of the counselling process with young people and to witness the changes and resilience that counselling can promote. Counsellors provide a vital service within schools. Both our core work with the young people themselves and the connections we build with teaching staff, parents and outside agencies puts us in a unique position to make a difference.

Alice’s Story

YOUNg people’s Services: community projects



Evidence shows that young people who are targeted for sexual exploitation have low self-esteem, and low confidence. The Liberty project works with young people who are victims of child exploitation and helps them to reduce the impact of their experience on their mental health. Our trauma counsellor works with young people to: increase their confidence and self-esteem, experience higher levels of wellbeing and lower levels of depression and anxiety, and to improve links with their family and friends.

Evolve aims to improve the resilience and life chances of children who have grown up in local authority care and have now left it (Aged 16-25). Nearly two-thirds of care leavers were in care because of abuse and neglect, and 50% experience mental health problems. As a result, care leavers are less likely to trust others and find it harder to form healthy relationships. Care leavers can find many of the practical challenges of adulthood more challenging because they do not have a family unit which helped them learn life skills and who they can turn to for advice and support.

people 20 young helped sessions 105 counselling attended in Rochdale & Stockport Improved levels of wellbeing: WEMWEBS increase from 34.5 to 39.2 (Stockport) and 35.9 to 42.7 (Rochdale).

8 55

young people helped counselling sessions attended Improved levels of wellbeing: WEMWEBS increase from 37.9 to 41.0

I’d been passed around all the other services. I’d formed unhealthy habits that I used to cope and get through life’s tough times. I thought ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’ but I wasn’t expecting much from therapy. At the time I felt that I had been referred to counselling as it was the workers way of passing my problems elsewhere as they no longer knew what to do with me. I wasn’t in crisis, like I had been previously, but I wasn’t stable. I hadn’t dealt with the issues from my past which meant that the slightest thing would have tipped me over the edge. I went into therapy thinking that life was a struggle anyway, and that I might as well give it a try, but didn’t really believe that it would change much for me. It took a couple of sessions for me to let my guard down and trust the counsellor. I felt like she was going through the motions in the early sessions; but found that once I had built a trusting relationship with the counsellor, I began to question the things I was saying aloud. Counselling helped me to make sense of things that had happened and how I had reacted to them. I began to make changes from there. Counselling wasn’t what I thought it would be. It’s not at all like how it is portrayed in films/media. It didn’t always feel

like I was working on anything in particular and it didn’t feel like I was moving forward but at one point it all suddenly fell into place and made sense. Life is completely different for me now. I’ve done things that I never thought that I could do or had realised that I needed to. I’ve left other people’s opinions behind me and don’t let them affect me anymore. My counsellor helped me to make massive changes in my life. I’ve now done things that I thought I’d never be strong enough to, and I found that the more work I put in, the more things improved. The counsellor listened, she cared, and believed that I could change my life before I believed it. If I had not come to counselling with Beacon nothing would have changed, I would have been living in the same situation and would have just been waiting for the next thing to tip me over the edge. History would have repeated itself. Eventually I would have gone on to have children and they would have been living the life that I had, like a cycle. Therapy is like magic, but only if you if you believe and trust in the process. Your past doesn’t have to define your future but you have to put in the work.

YOUNg people’s Services:

Supporting individuals experiencing trauma:

Response to Manchester Arena attack The tragic event of the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017 left the region distraught and bereft. It’s hard to quantify the hurt and suffering that anyone involved or affected will have gone through. Beacon wanted to help and provide support for anyone affected, understanding that the trauma that some survivors might experience would appear over time, and could be long-lasting without the right support. Beacon would like to thank the many individuals who have donated to this project, enabling the organisation to provide life-changing support to young people affected by this tragedy.

Beacon counsellor Kirsty is a trauma specialist and has worked with a number of Manchester attack survivors:

Trauma is an involuntary emotional response as a result of experiencing a distressing event or events. It alters our ability to cope and impacts our emotions and behaviours. Immediately after trauma you may feel dazed or numb, or detached from surroundings. In the following weeks there may be flashbacks, dreams, nightmares, anxiety, sadness, fear, concentration, problems, hyper-vigilance, feelings of helplessness, guilt, headaches, stomach problems, avoidance of certain people and/or places and difficulty sleeping. These are all trauma symptoms and may naturally process after the event but if they persist after a period of 6 months it then becomes PTSD and will need specialist treatment through counselling or psychotherapy.

Counselling someone who has experienced trauma can help them to process their memories safely. It can help to normalise their feelings and emotions which allows them to feel more in control of things. It can help them to understand why they react in certain ways to triggers, and also identify what these triggers are and put strategies in place to manage them. Trauma therapy can be a long process, but is essential to have a long-term impact on the individual. This was the case with one girl that I worked with, Robyn.

Robyn, 15 was at the Manchester Arena on the night of the terrorist attack. She came to counselling displaying hyper-vigilance, anxiety and tearfulness. She couldn’t sleep at night because of the nightmares that she was having. Through counselling she was able to understand her body’s responses to what had happened. This enabled her to feel less afraid. She was able to put strategies in place at times she knew would be difficult, such as nighttime. Through self- processing of the trauma and managing the anxiety in the process we were able to reduce the trauma symptoms significantly. Robyn is currently sitting her GCSEs with confidence. Without counselling she may have got stuck in the trauma pathway leading to a PTSD diagnosis. Luckily for Robyn, this was avoided as she accessed the help early.


YOUNg people’s Services:


2017 income £587,842 We want young people to receive the best mental health services, and the best way to ensure this is to put young people at the heart of evaluating and developing services. That’s why Beacon has developed a forum of young people that can advise Beacon on what we’re doing right and what we’re getting wrong, where young people find difficulties in getting the support they need, and tackle the stigma that still remains in mental health. This project is a pilot, and we have taken advice from experts in engaging young people and building their involvement. We started as we meant to continue, by putting young people in the driving seat and allowing them to define what the forum will become by co-creating it. The group of five young people created the name ‘S.O.S’ standing for ‘Stamp Out Stigma’. The panel will be able to play a huge role in providing feedback on services and developing services that benefit young people. They will assist us in identifying gaps in provision and in project development to meet that need. They will be able to offer advice in new and better ways to engage with young people, ensuring services are relevant, accessible and that we are offering the right support.

grants £163,758 fundraising and donations £54,836

Our purpose is to help young people with mental health to feel more comfortable speaking about it. We are what it says our purpose is to stamp out the stigma and be the voice of those who don’t feel they have one. Our purpose is to bring to light issues and also help solve them.

earned income/ sales of services £369,040

interest £208

2017 expenditure £578,131


of every £1 that we received was spent directly on services

We spent 2p of every £1 on generating more income for the charity.

servies for adults £228,086 services for children and young people £341,232 fundraising £8,813


our dedicated volunteers

FUNDERS Funding Bodies

other supporters

Big Lottery Fund Bramhall & District Enterprise CRH Charitable Trust Ralph Pendlebury Trust Stockport CCG

Tree Accountancy The Vernon Building Society Llyods Bank - Corporate, Manchester Jim Flynn & Stockport Beer Festival St Michael’s Church Hall Bramhall and Woodford Rotary

Pennine Care Pure Insight SAVY

Stockport Advocacy Walthew House

with special thanks to at SMBC: at stockport CCG: Partner charities:

office volunteers and evening receptionists

Bruce Bissell (Chair) David Best (Treasurer) Deborah Cowsill (Resigned 2017) Steve Ellis Alan Hewitson (Resigned 2017) Liz Hitch (Resigned 2017) Margaret Lewis (Resigned 2017) Brian McCluggage (Co-opted) Joan Tsalikis

Dennis Allport Rachael Critchley Heather Dearden Michael Dunstan Carol Ellis Liz Ellis Fran Forrester James Hacking

Gordon Jackson Jeanette Ladd Ron Malabon Emma Parry Mary Riding Trevor Saville Rachel Spence


partner organisations in the community Disability Stockport Stockport & District Mind SPARC

board of trustees

Michael Priestley, Elysabeth Williams, Rebecca Key and Leanne Baines Gina Evans, Duncan Weldrake Lynn Barrett

Abbey, Alison, Alistair, Amy, Ann , Anna, Anna, Anthony, Antonia, Cath, Chris, Claire , Cliodhna, Donald, Elizabeth, Emilie, Emily , Fiona, Fiona, Gabriela, Gail, Hayley, Heather, Helen, Ian, Jacqueline, Jacqueline, Jacqui, Janice, Jeanette, Jenny , Joanna , Jocelin , Johnny, Kim, Kirsty , Kirsty , Lauren, Libby, Lisa , Lynda, Margaret, Mark, Michaela, Musarat, Naomi, Neha, Nicola , Nigel, Njal, Pamela, Rosie, Sacha, Sally, Sally, Sally, Sandy, Sarah, Sophie, Stephanie, Sylvia, Tennille, Teresa, Vicky and Yvonne.

supervisors Steve Boettcher, Jed Bridge, Penny Bullock, Jenny Dunlop, Theresa Law, Jean McLaren, Lorraine O’Brien Rebecca Pollard and Krissy Tingle

Beacon House 50-52 Middle Hillgate Stockport SK1 3DL 0161 400 0055 general enquiries fundraising enquiries

Registered Charity No. 1109545

Profile for Beacon Counselling

Impact Report 2017  

Read about our Impact in 2017 supporting adults, young people and children in Stockport and beyond.

Impact Report 2017  

Read about our Impact in 2017 supporting adults, young people and children in Stockport and beyond.


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