Founded over 30 years ago HBBS Counselling (formerly Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service) has supported local people of all ages struggling to come to terms with a close bereavement or loss.
Primarily through individual counselling and advice and support we have developed a good reputation as a professional, experienced and well-informed local organisation prepared to work with individuals, other voluntary organisations, schools and statutory bodies to improve emotional well-being in our communities.
In the past 30 years we have progressed from one combined office and counselling room to working in a community centre in Havering and a commercial office in Brentwood both of which incorporate 2 purpose built counselling rooms. In staffing terms we now have 11 part-time members of staff and 14 regular volunteers having started in 1989 with 2 volunteers and a coordinator working just 8 hours a week.
Our support workers were initially more befrienders than counsellors but now our team of 10 counsellors are all appropriately trained and experienced and all members of our regulatory body the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and all our practices adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework.
We now deliver in excess of 3,000 sessions per year, over 1,000 of which are Children’s Bereavement counselling sessions and we also offer a counselling project for the carers of people affected by Dementia and a range of early intervention strategies in some schools.
We also run a Kids in it Together Club (KiiT Club) for former children’s bereavement clients and their siblings where they can take part in a range of activities with other children and young people in a similar position as their own.
The Dementia project aside we have not had local authority or NHS funding in our locality for nearly 5 years and we ask for client contributions towards the costs of most of our counselling sessions. The exception to this is our Children’s Bereavement Service which is funded with by BBC Children in Need (for primary aged children) or Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund (for secondary aged young people). For both of these services there is no charge once a £45 assessment/registration fee is paid.
We continue to campaign for these services to be funded by local health services but to no avail. We shall continue to do so, but in the meantime do our best to keep our fees as low as possible.