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25 Years Of Connect (in 2019)

25 Anniversary achievements
With the milestone of 25 years of counselling service at Connect, in this blog article, we look back over that time and also consider where we are now, with providing a counselling service to the community.

Looking Back

April 1993 to March 1994 was a research year, where we started laying the building blocks for our future – Planning, Investigation, Finance, Training, Publicity and lots of prayer. We prepared the foundations including setting up management structures and recruiting staff.
Once up and running, in 1994, we spent time evaluating the service we then provided and improving that service where we could in those early days. This would be an ongoing process, but we made improvements to the service as will be noted further down.
Connect Christian Counselling Service opened its doors to the community, with ten counsellors at the start – supported by office staff, supervisors and office helpers/ volunteers.

In addition to those early counselling sessions we provided, in 1994, Connect ran the Foundation course in Pastoral Counselling to build the counsellors we had and then in 1995, we moved to our current premises in Portesbery Road, which was more convenient for the train station and town centre of Camberley.
During the first 5+ years our first Director Chris Simons continued to raise awareness, fundraise and develop the service. The counselling Team increased from ten to 25 counsellors, along with the Supervision Groups in that time. As the service became more well known, more clients attended for Counselling.

In-service training days were held regularly, to support the counsellors in their continued professional development.
Our second Director, Theresa Lemonde took over from Chris in 1999, and steered the service into the next few years.
In 2001, Couples Counselling had been introduced, alongside the ongoing work with individual adults. Then in 2004 Family Therapy was added to the services available from Connect.

Cathie Russell became our third Director in 2003 and remains with us to this day. Things continued to grow in terms of counselling sessions and client numbers.

Connect is chosen as Surrey Heath Mayor’s Charity in 2016

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of Mayor John Winterton’s chosen charities, so for this coming year (2016-17), Connect will be involved in many of the Mayor’s events and fundraising projects.
Cathie, John and Di and Lucy Brown DI 2016_named Thank you to John and wife Di, for their support of Connect and we wish them every success in their exciting year.
Please look out for opportunities to take part,  and contact Connect if you need any further information about the Mayor’s role with Connect.
Events include a Golf Day at Chobham Golf Club on Friday September 16th, and a Mayor’s Ball on Saturday May 13th 2017.

UPDATE: There was a presentation in October 2017, of a cheque, covering the amount raised during the Mayor’s fundraising year . The total for Connect was …

Connect podcast on Eagle Extra Radio

eaglextra Hear the recent radio interview given by Connect’s Director Cathie Russell.
In the podcast, Cathie explains about the role of Connect in the community, and the service it provides today. In addition, she talks about the role fundraising plays in supporting the service here, and provides contact details for the service.

Click here to listen to the podcast – approx 8 mins   Note the podcast will open in a new window, please close that to return here.

Connect Awarded BACP Service Accreditation

BACP-logo

This year Connect was awarded BACP Accredited Service Status.

In order to become an Accredited Service with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (BACP), Connect must show a high level of professional standards and fulfil strict guidelines of service to the public.

A Year in the Life of Connect

‘I was grieving and realized I needed help when I felt I had no purpose in life and was afraid of the future. My GP gave me a choice of counsellors. I chose Connect. Being able to talk about my feelings was a great help and has improved my outlook on life. Counselling has been a great help. Thank you.’