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Counselling service for Portsmouth set to continue through The YOU Trust

Portsmouth Counselling Service’s good work is set to continue thanks to a new agreement between Portsmouth City Council and The YOU Trust.

The future of the counselling service has been uncertain for some time but now there is the opportunity for this vital support network to vulnerable people in Portsmouth to continue as part of The YOU Trust.

The council has awarded The YOU Trust £50,000 from its voluntary sector transition fund which will allow it to continue the work previously undertaken by Portsmouth Counselling Service and counselling service volunteers to carry on their valuable work.

David Miles, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Counselling Service, said: “I am delighted that our work will continue to support vulnerable people across Portsmouth through The YOU Trust. While it might not be called Portsmouth Counselling Service, the public will still get exactly the same level of service. It is fantastic that the council and The YOU Trust have been able to work with us to make this happen and I’m particularly pleased they want the same people to deliver it.”

The YOU Trust already has a big presence in Portsmouth, Hampshire and Dorset, offering a variety of support services including advice services, working with domestic abuse, people with mental health issues and homelessness. The plan is for existing counselling service volunteers to become park of the new counselling service and provide a new counselling service replicating what they currently provide but on a firmer financial footing.

Nicola Youern, Chief Executive of The YOU Trust, said: “Portsmouth Counselling Service has a good track record of providing support to the city and we’re looking forward to continuing this as part of The YOU Trust. We’re inheriting a wealth of expertise through the people involved and the counselling service will compliment the range of work we already do to help people across Portsmouth.”

The money from the council will be used to cover the initial costs of establishing the counselling service within The YOU Trust. After the one-off payment, the service will become part of The YOU Trust’s sustainable operations.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care, said: “It’s great news that everyone has been able to pull together to ensure Portsmouth Counselling Service’s important work can continue. The YOU Trust is an ideal partner for this, with an excellent reputation both locally and nationally. Their track record of generating income and securing funding to offer the public vital support within a sustainable business model gives us every confidence that the service is in safe hands.

Councils have far less money than in the past. Even so, by working closely with partners and using the funds it has to maximum effect, the city council has been able to protect these vital counselling services, this is similar to work done with the Recovery Café and ongoing discussions with Portsmouth Abuse & Rape Counselling Service (PARCS) to jointly improve their headquarters building.”