King's Lynn mental health charity committed to the people of West Norfolk
A West Norfolk mental health charity says it is committed to delivering support and services to the local people of King's Lynn at the start of Mental Health Awareness week.
The One to One Project has accepted the challenge caused by the pandemic and has adapted its services to enable continued support for existing clients.
Manager Debbie Regan said: "Demand for our service has always been high, but we are receiving more and more enquiries daily from individuals struggling in current situation, as well as from the Wellbeing Service and Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust to see people.
"The level of demand is definitely higher at the moment.
"Even the people being seen by us at the moment are talking about being more anxious about when it will all end.
"The assistant manager and myself are also supporting the volunteer counsellors as well as current clients. "We are only human and it’s difficult for us as well, especially as we are running with half the counsellors we normally have.”
One to One are looking to reopen to see people waiting for a service after next week.
Mrs Regan added: “The way we all came together as a service is fantastic, counsellors offering support and wanting to see as many people as possible. We are working really hard to make the services available."
They can now offer online/remote counselling sessions. In addition to offering a year of counselling and support, they also offer services for either 12 or 24 weeks.
This new approach will enable them to reach a greater range of people, in particular those finding themselves in complete isolation, at a time when services cannot be provided in a ‘normal’ way.
Simon Clarke, vice chair of Trustees of the One to One Project, said: “It is amazing what the staff have achieved in such a short space of time. They have completely reorganised the service to work remotely in a professional and safe manner.
"I know the amount of work they have done to make sure the volunteers are prepared to take on this new way of working.
“It’s been a real team effort. I am very proud of the staff, volunteers and trustees who have all demonstrated their commitment to the services we deliver.”
The charity was established with charitable status in 1984, to provide long term professional support to adults in West Norfolk who are experiencing emotional and/or social distress and mental health difficulties. The project has evolved and developed over the years to meet the needs of its diverse local community and provides counselling, mentoring and group work.
It provides these services free of charge through fundraising, donations and grants and receives no government funding.
The innovative work carried out in in such a short time will enable One To One to continue delivering kind long term support until it can reopen its offices near the town centre and the outreach venues across the county.