Just Talk counselling service seeks help to acquire new premises in Sudbury to cope with rising demand as churches provide vital cash boost
A Sudbury counselling organisation is appealing for help to secure larger permanent premises to meet rapidly-rising demand, after welcoming donations totalling more than £1,100 from three churches.
Just Talk, based at the ExploringU Centre for Wellbeing in Station Road, confirmed that demand for its services has quadrupled year-on-year, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll.
Formed last year, the therapy service aims to provide an affordable avenue for people to receive support, and operates a bridge fund to subsidise the cost of sessions for those otherwise unable to afford them.
To support this bridge fund, Just Talk received a much-needed cash boost via the contributions of parishioners of St Gregory’s Church and All Saints’ Church in Sudbury, and St Andrew’s Church in Great Cornard, adding up to £1,134 in total.
Psychotherapist Glenda Roberts, founder of Just Talk, said the donations would enable the service to fund more than 110 counselling sessions to help people who are also struggling financially.
But she also warned that the current premises would soon be unable to cope if demand for counselling continues to grow at its current rate, and the service is now seeking the community’s help to acquire a new building.
“At a time when many counselling services have closed, Just Talk is one of the few to remain open and offer face-to-face support during the second lockdown, following the guidelines set out by the Government,” she said.
“It’s only by the generosity of these parishioners that we’re able to keep going. We’re so grateful to them for continuing to support us. It’s much-needed during this crisis.
“We’re always looking for new ways to raise funds. As demand grows for our service, we will need a much bigger building.
“With the rate it’s going, I think we could keep going for maybe eight months before we have to put people on waiting lists, and I don’t want to do that.
“We don’t operate on waiting lists. If people are genuinely in need, the last thing they want to be told is that there’s a waiting time. They want to know they can get help.”
Prior to the formation of the current service, Just Talk operated as a charity, and ran a counselling café at the Borehamgate precinct, before having to vacate the site in 2019, as it could not afford the rent.
“There’s a greater need now than when we had the charity before,” added Glenda (pictured). “We need to make sure people in the Sudbury area get the support they need.
“We want to buy our own building, so we can continue to operate for generations to come. If we find a bigger building and get the money to buy it, we can help all people in our community.
“When people get the help they need, they can flourish. They can get jobs and contribute to the economy. When people are desperate and struggling, everything escalates.”
For more information about Just Talk and counselling, call 0330 120 0279 or go to www.justtalk2019.com.