• Steve

Willows News - September 2019

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6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4 v 6-7

“If you remain generous, you will find your feet.”

John O’Donohue

Greetings from Willows this autumn

In past years at Willows, summer has often been a quieter period that gave us an opportunity to “catch up”, however this summer we have remained steadily busy. Then as autumn begins, we see more people referring themselves for counselling, increasing the number of sessions and our general level of busyness. September also sees the start of our counselling training courses, filling the building once again with the buzz of students.

This summer we were delighted to welcome Nick to the team as Volunteer Handyman. He is helping Ron and Norman with maintenance of the building and grounds.

New website

In August we launched our redesigned website (, which now covers all aspects of our counselling and training. For a couple of years we had a separate training website ( which is no longer used. If you access the website from a phone or tablet you’ll see the mobile-optimised version.

Highlights of the new website –

· Details of our counsellor training pathway (starting from Level 2), including enrolment dates for each course and leaflets to download in pdf format;

· An online shop to buy counselling resources designed in house - these are proving to be very popular;

· The ability to book online for our 2020 CPD workshops will follow soon;

Do take a look and give us your feedback.

Friends of Willows - it’s a musical autumn

If your overseas trips have left you with foreign coins or notes, don’t lose them in a drawer!

Willows will happily take these of your hands as part of our fundraising campaign this year. Can you read the message we found on the Zimbabwean bank note?

On Sunday 29th September 2019 we are delighted to have another fun-filled musical evening with Sheila Harrod and the Kentwood Choir at Blundson House. Tickets, which are £8, can be purchased from the Willows Centre. The evening starts at 7.30pm.

This is closely followed on Tuesday October 15th by Geoff Walters and Encore at Immanuel URC Church, Upham Rd (7.30pm start). Tickets are £6 on the door and we’re really grateful that half the profits will be coming to Willows.

Then for those of us with a sweeter tooth we’re running our tasty cake stall Saturday 16th November at the Christchurch Christmas Fair. It would be lovely to meet you there!

Finally, throughout December we’re running a raffle for Christmas Hampers – again tickets from the Willows Centre.

Training forges ahead …

We offer counsellor training from Level 2 through Level 5

This September we welcomed back our Diploma/Level 4 students for their second year and a group of new starters for the Certificate/Level 3 course. We also started a Bridging course for people who’ve completed Level 3 and who are considering our next Diploma course starting Sept 2020. Our next Introductory Level 2 course starts on Sept 30th.

In between this newsletter and the next we’ll be releasing details of –

· The 2020 programme of CPD Training workshops;

· A day conference with Mick Cooper on ‘Exploring Relational Depth in Therapy’ (Sat June 6th);

· Our flagship new Level 5 Diploma in ‘Trauma Counselling’, starting January 2020.

You’ll be able to find more details of these in the training section of our website, via our Facebook page and from specific training updates.

We have two remaining CPD training workshops this year –

· Sat 5th October - 'Working with Young People – Key differences in working therapeutically with under-18s’ Speaker: Lisa Nel (5 hours CPD - £45 including lunch);

· Sat 9th November - 'Personal Journeying: Exploring working more deeply in our personal and professional work with others’ (workshop 2) Speakers: Philippa Dryland and Mike Fisher (5 hours CPD £45 including lunch).

The above courses will be held at the Harnhill Centre in Cirencester and can be booked directly through them by calling 01285 850283.

If you received this newsletter by email you can choose to also receive specific training updates by clicking ‘update your preferences’ in the footer of the email or otherwise by contacting us on 01793-426650 /

Fundraising success

Since our last update in early July we have received very welcome and essential grant funding from Wiltshire Community Foundation, Stratton St Margaret Parish Council and Zurich Community Trust. These grants have enabled us to continue subsidising the donations towards counselling for some of our financially impoverished clients and to maintain the receptionist role which has been such a blessing in releasing other staff from answering phone calls and greeting clients.

As ever, we deeply appreciate your support, whether through prayer, practical activity or financially. We’d love to meet you either at the Willows Centre or at a ‘Friends of Willows’ event.

Blessings from Tanya and the Willows Team

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