The New Futures Project has launched an innovative open-door counselling service for women and young people who are struggling with their mental health but are not yet ready to commit to taking part in more formal therapy.
Our director Della Kagure Brown says the new night-time service was inspired by the recent death of one of our long-term clients. Della hopes the service – which will run between 7pm and 8.30pm on Tuesdays – will be a fitting memorial for the woman.
Those who come along to our base at 71 London Road, Leicester, will be able to sit down with Della for approximately 20 minutes. Anyone arriving before 8.30pm will be seen that evening.
She said: “Over the 23 years the project has been running, we have lost too many women, and I’m hoping the new service may be something that makes a difference.
“When I was training as a psychotherapist I was frequently told that clients need to be living a more stable life before they could benefit from counselling and psychotherapy.
“However, by then I had worked at the New Futures Project for about fifteen years and I knew that counselling would help many of the women we supported who were homeless, alcohol or drug using and living chaotic difficult lives.
“Three weeks before she died this woman had asked me if she could have counselling through the project because she felt she needed more support. We tried to contact her to arrange a counselling assessment, but she didn’t reply.
“I worry that the formality of the process may have felt too difficult for her and I started to think how we could make the counselling process more user-friendly.”
New Futures already offers a full programme of counselling by appointment throughout the week. However, there is a waiting list for this service and Della believes the open-door service could prove vital for those who are struggling.
The project currently works with approximately 40 counsellors and sessions take place at our base throughout the week.
Della believes spending even just a short time with her will help women gain some understanding of how counselling can help when they feel desperate and unable to cope.
She said: “I’m thinking of women or young people who are living chaotic lives who aren’t ready for formal counselling.
“It’s really just dropping in for a sit-down and a coffee with me to talk about any problems they might be having.
“Spending just a short time with someone would enable me to make some assessment of any risk and decide what the next move should be, whether that’s a formal counselling relationship or some kind of group counselling.”
Women and young people who are currently on our waiting list are also welcome to come along on Tuesday evenings.
The open-door policy will give people access to professional support which could lead to more long-term counselling, if required.
Della added: “I know this isn’t unique, I do know of projects who have ran a similar service which has helped women who previously would have been considered unsuitable for counselling.
“I’m proud to be offering this in Leicester and I know the woman who we are all thinking of at the moment would be delighted we are doing this. I just wish she could have benefitted from it.”
We still have a number of spaces available on a counselling training course we are launching in the next few weeks.
The part-time course is ideal for anyone who wants to take their first steps on the path to qualifying as a therapist or who is interested in their own personal or professional development.
Teaching sessions for the Level Two Certificate in Counselling Skills will take place at our London Road base.
The 30-week course, which is accredited by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body, (CPCAP), will run from autumn this year until summer 2024. Exact dates will be confirmed shortly.
New Futures was set up more than 20 years ago to support women involved in sex work.
However, we have evolved into a welfare and counselling service for women and young people dealing with sexual abuse or exploitation – frequently involving domestic violence, trafficking, poverty and debt, substance use or mental ill-health.
Call us on 0116 251 0803 or send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.