We are recruiting a Clinical Supervisor(s) to join our team.

From September 2019 for twelve months we are running a pilot in Havering schools offering clinical supervision for senior teachers and are seeking to recruit supervisors to deliver this work.

The model is to provide Heads and senior teachers with half termly supervision to approximately eight schools with a maximum of three teachers per school. . The supervisor will be responsible for their own diary management. The project is coordinated from our Brentwood office and incorporates some elements of project evaluation.

We may consider employing more than one Supervisor to fulfil this role.

Approx 110 hours term time only between September 2019 and July 31st 2020 

Rate £50 ph

Closing date is September 20th, 2019

To apply please send a CV and a covering letter highlighting why your application should be considered above others to

ABOUT US:  The Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service (HBBS Counselling) is a community charity which has been supporting local people for over 25 years. We work across the whole of the Brentwood and Havering areas and beyond.

We offer individual counselling programmes for clients, training for other professionals and voluntary sector organisations and operate a range of local contracts with schools and healthcare professionals. We continue to have a specialism in bereavement, but also support clients of all ages facing other challenges in their lives.

30th Anniversary Tickets Available Now (Event: July 5th, 2019)

30th Anniversary Tickets Available Now (Event: July 5th, 2019)

Tickets are available now for a celebration and fundraising event at Ingatestone Hall to mark our 30th anniversary.

The soiree will take place at the Tudor mansion on July 5th, 2019, which will also mark the tenth anniversary of our charity’s counselling support for children and young people.

HBBS Counselling was founded in 1989 as Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service to support people in the community who had lost a loved one.

Since then our charity has expanded and we now offer a range of counselling including for mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety and trauma.

During this time we have also established counselling projects such as #4ME - specifically for children and young people of primary and secondary school age and through these programmes we work closely with schools across Brentwood and Havering. 

HBBS Counselling also provides counselling help for carers of dementia patients in Thurrock.

This week we were delighted to announce that we have been awarded with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS).

Our celebration at Ingatestone Hall - which was visited by Elizabeth I - will include wine and a buffet and will see the presentation of the QAVS Award by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex Vincent Thompson DL MA.

Katy O’Keefe, our Events & Fundraising Officer, said: “This will be a very momentous occasion for everyone at our charity whether they are members of the team or people we’ve supported us over the years.

“We continue to work hard to support our community by seeking funding for our services and we’d be extremely grateful to everyone who can join us on the night, it will be a very special and emotional evening.”

“Our counselling is funded entirely by grants, events and private donations and there will also be a raffle and auction on the night.”

Tickets for our 30th Anniversary Celebration, which starts at 7.30pm on Friday, July 5th, are priced at £25.

For more information about our 30th celebrations or to book tickets please call Katy O’Keefe 01277 283190

HBBS Quiz Night Gets Top Marks!

HBBS Quiz Night Gets Top Marks!

An evening of trivia has raised more than £800 to support young people who need emotional support through counselling after losing a loved one.

The HBBS Counselling Quiz Night took place at St John’s Church Hall, Mountnessing on May 18 was a very busy event.

The funds raised will be used to support #4ME, a programme to support children coping with bereavement.

HBBS - a registered charity - is funded entirely by grants, public donations and an annual programme of events.

On July 5th, 2019 HBBS is hosting a dinner at Ingatestone Hall to celebrate its 30th anniversary, ticket details will be announced very soon.

Katy O’Keefe, Events & Fundraising Officer at HBBS, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the support we received for the quiz and it was a brilliant night, thank you to everyone who attended.

“We now turn our attentions to the big dinner in July and we cannot wait to reveal more details, it’s going to be an incredible and emotional night.”

In the last financial year HBBS delivered 3,033 individual counselling sessions to adults and young people for bereavement and other mental health issues.

HBBS receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for 2019

HBBS receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for 2019

HBBS have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service have been in existence for over 30 years and provides counselling support to young people, adults, and families. Originally founded to offer bereavement counselling it now covers a range of mental health issues including depression, trauma and anxiety. 

 In 2018/19 HBBS delivered around 3,000 counselling sessions across their local community including local primary and secondary schools.

The nine groups from Essex are amongst 281 charities, social enterprises, and volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year across the UK. The number of awarded groups have increased again this year, demonstrating the continuous expansion and value of the voluntary sector in today’s society.

This award is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.  

Representatives of the nine winning groups in Essex attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

The nine Essex winners will receive the Award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this summer.

Mrs Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said:

“The announcement of nine winners of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest national award for voluntary groups, across Essex is a wonderful tribute to the outstanding work of the voluntary sector. Only one other county in the UK had more winners than Essex which speaks volumes for the excellence of volunteering in our county and the increasing importance of the work of volunteers for community wellbeing. I am delighted that nine extremely deserving groups, who are providing a wide range of services to our communities have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen. I look forward to presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to each of the groups over the coming months and to be able to celebrate their success with their volunteers and many who receive their excellent service”.

Sue Newth-Gibbs, Chair of Trustees, Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service said:

“We are delighted and proud to receive this award. We hope that it will enable us to further raise the profile of our service by reaching out to support more people in the community and attracting potential donors and grant providers. We celebrate our 30th anniversary in July 2019 and this is a very special birthday present”.

 Emma Tierney, Chief Executive Officer (HBBS) said:

“As a local charity celebrating its 30th year, we feel honoured to have received this prestigious award which highlights the importance of the counselling we provide. 

In our local community.  We could not have reached so many clients without the support and dedication of our team of dedicated volunteers, staff and counsellors. We look forward to both continuing our work and expanding to meet the evolving needs of the community.”;

HBBS Kids' Easter Party Hailed a Cracker!

HBBS Kids' Easter Party Hailed a Cracker!

A special Easter party organised by Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service for young people who have lost a loved was hailed a huge success.

The event - on April 25th, at The Old Chapel in Upminster - was laid on for 11 members of the Kids in it Together Club (KiiT) who thoroughly enjoyed their day out.

Entertainment was organised in the guise of “That Bubble Man” who performed a stunning bubble show for the appreciative young guests who also tucked into lunch served by The Party Kitchen.

Each guest also left clutching a chocolate egg to enjoy.

Katy O’Keefe, Events and Fundraising Officer, at HBBS said: “It was yet another fantastic event for the young people in our Kids in it Together Club.

“These young people have been through a very difficult time and have benefited from the bereavement counselling services we provide at HBBS.

“It is brilliant to give them opportunities like this to have fun and spend time with others who have similar experiences.

“Thank you to That Bubble Man and The Party Kitchen for supporting this event and to everyone who donates to other HBBS events.

“Without that fundraising we could not give these children such opportunities.”

To support the KiiT Club to help us host further events, please visit our donations page here 



We are currently accepting applications for a job vacancy at Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service.


Hours 12 hours a week (term time only)

Salary £21,385 pro rata dependant on qualification and experience

Closing date is April 29th, 2019

Please contact for an application form

#4ME U10’s Counselling - Project Overview 

“To provide the best one to one support for adults and children experiencing bereavement and loss, enabling them to explore and understand their feelings and emotions and work towards adjustment in their new lives.”

The Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service (HBBS) is a local charity, established in 1989 to provide one-to-one counselling support for adults suffering from bereavement and loss. Although grief is a natural process we recognise that it can often trigger many other emotions and feelings and we believe that counselling often helps to overcome these problems and enables the individual to move on with their lives. HBBS has worked within the area for nearly twenty five years and over that time has developed a community focussed approach with strong networking ties in the area with health professionals, GP’s etc. The organisation has its own dedicated counselling rooms in Brentwood and Hornchurch. Counselling is also provided within schools where applicable.

HBBS also provides a counselling service for the carers and families of people with Dementia, within the Thurrock area; commissioned by Thurrock CCG.

HBBS is committed to running a project funded by Children in Need until September 2020. The aim is to enable more young people to access bereavement support through individual counselling in schools and in the community incorporating social media, and access to a social interaction project.

The main element of this project is therapeutic. It will incorporate individual weekly bereavement counselling for children for a minimum of 7 weeks (including assessment). In these sessions the children are encouraged and supported to understand their current situation and are helped to normalise their emotions, even those which are overwhelming for them.

Counselling in a supportive, caring and safe environment will ease the children in to talking about their emotions, normalising and accepting them. Our counsellors will help them find the language they need not only to express themselves in the counselling sessions, but also share their concerns and hopes with other family members and friends outside of the therapeutic environment. For example, an angry child developing these skills will diminish their frustration and uncharacteristic aggression will diminish.

A range of strategies will also be used to build the child’s self-esteem and give them the tools they need to maintain their emotional well-being in their everyday life. For a withdrawn child, developing these skills will boost their confidence and enable them to be more like their former self. 

The children will also be given help to understand and utilise their own support network outside of the session and given guidance about how to use it in the future.

We are also looking to develop our Kids in it Together Club to facilitate the participation of more children in a wider range of activities.

Additionally, experience in this field informs us that some family liaison work will help to maximise the access and engagement of the individual child in the counselling process. In Oct 2016 we launched a new project for older children and young people and have found the liaison role has been crucial for demystifying the counselling process and enhancing engagement levels. We are keen to introduce this role in our bereavement support work for younger children and their carers.

For the young people who are the focus of this project we hope that by maximising for them the potential benefits of our support, we will help them adjust to their new lives post bereavement and enable them to look to the future more positively; gaining confidence to make the most of what life offers them in the future. We also have an ‘open door’ policy for clients to return to us at any point in the future.

ABOUT US:  The Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service (HBBS) is a community charity which has been supporting local people for over 25 years. We work across the whole of the Brentwood and Havering areas and beyond.

We offer individual counselling programmes for clients, training for other professionals and voluntary sector organisations and operate a range of local contracts with schools and healthcare professionals. We continue to have a specialism in bereavement, but also support clients of all ages facing other challenges in their lives

For our staff we provide clinical supervision as required, staff support, professional development opportunities and a supportive professional working environment

HBBS is committed to running a project funded by Children in Need until September 2020. The aim is to enable more young people to access bereavement support through individual counselling in schools and in the community incorporating social media, and access to a social interaction project.

Additionally, experience in this field informs us that family and schools liaison helps with communication and to maximise the access and engagement of the individual child in the counselling process. 

Our exciting and dynamic team currently has several vacancies across the Havering and Brentwood area, reporting to the main office in Brentwood.

HBBS Pop-Up Craft Café Trial at Brentwood School Hailed a "Huge Success"

HBBS Pop-Up Craft Café Trial at Brentwood School Hailed a "Huge Success"

Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services has completed a “highly successful” pilot project at a school in Brentwood which offered drop-in counselling support to students.

The trial - at Brentwood County High School - took place over 15 weeks ending in March 2019 - and involved setting up a Pop-Up Craft Café inside the school building.

Students were invited to visit the cafe where they had the opportunity to discuss any issues on their mind.

The initiative was run by professional counsellor Jo Patten Walsh ( BA(Hons) Dip Couns/MBACP) and was supported by Sarah-Jane Archer who engaged with students through art and craft activities while they talked about any personal concerns they may have.

Louise Mundy, Business Manager at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services, said: “The young people thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, the friendships they made are continuing to flourish and they made good use of the opportunity to talk.

“Thank you to the school for helping make this happen, to Jo and Sarah-jane for their creative ideas and to the students for showing us that this is a worthwhile new way for us to be working in schools”.

The team at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services is now reviewing feedback from the trial before announcing any further trials or rollout of the concept.

Research by the NHS suggests that one in ten children aged 5-15 have a diagnosable mental health condition.

Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services offers regular one-to-one counselling services to primary and secondary school children and has delivered 274 sessions in the past 12 months to primary-aged children (funded by BBC Children In Need) and 775 for young people of secondary school age (funded by HBBS).

Coping with the Loss of a Loved One on Mother's Day

Coping with the Loss of a Loved One on Mother's Day

As Mother’s Day approaches Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services is reaching out to people who have lost their mum and to mothers who are grieving the loss of a child.

It's hard to go anywhere at the moment without seeing something to do with Mother's Day.

There are cards and gifts everywhere and adverts on the telly with messages such as "show her how much you care".

For someone who has either experienced the loss of a mother or a mother who has lost a child, these messages can be particularly painful and difficult to avoid.

So taking extra care of yourself if you have experienced this type of loss is particularly important at the moment.

The pain of your loss will always be there to some degree, but Sunday March 31st will be the most painful reminder for some and possibly one of the hardest days of the year.

We wanted to suggest some ideas that may make the day a little easier and perhaps even offer an opportunity to remember times you spent together.

Writing a card 

Writing a card to a loved one who has died may be really helpful as an outlet for our thoughts and feelings. It can offer an opportunity to consider what would you want to say to your loved one if you could.

Buying flowers

You may have on previous Mother's Days, bought a bouquet of flowers for your loved one and it can be helpful to continue to do this. You may want to lay the flowers at the place of burial or memorial. Alternatively you may want to keep them as a reminder of your loved one and enjoy them at home.

Lighting a candle

The lighting of a candle can be a symbolic way of remembering the light that once shone so brightly in your loved one. It is also a way of giving yourself time to reflect on your loss. You may even want to think about what you would like to say to them.

Choose the right place for you.

Think about where you want to spend Mother's Day. Who do you want to spend it with? Where would you feel more comfortable?

You may prefer the day to be a quiet one. One for contemplation or to not be reminded by others of your loss.

You may want to spend time with others, perhaps share memories or to even give yourself a distraction from how hard the day may be.

Most importantly, you chose what is right for you. We all grieve in our own way and doing what is right for you is the most important thing.

If you feel you would like to access our specialist bereavement counselling, please do contact HBBS on 01277 283199.

If you are feeling the pain is overwhelming on the day and you would like to talk to someone, please do contact the Samaritans on 116123.

Written by Lisa Mason-Gates, Counselling Manager at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services

HBBS Team Complete Brentwood Fun Run 2019

HBBS Team Complete Brentwood Fun Run 2019

A team of determined runners completed the Brentwood Fun Run 2019 on Sunday to raise funds and awareness for Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services.

The race - part of the Brentwood Half Marathon day - took place on March 17th and has raised money for HBBS through each runner securing sponsorship.

The whole team of six completed the course in under one hour and received a medal and HBBS goody bag after crossing the finish line.

The team was made up of Katie Henry, Samuel Henry, Rhylee O’Hanlon, Lily O’Keefe, Marie O’Hanlon and Christian O’Keefe.

Katy O’Keefe, Events and Fundraising Officer at HBBS, who organised the team, said: “I am so proud of the HBBS team who showed real dedication to complete the course in such terrible weather.

“Their effort and commitment has raised awareness and funds for our charity and we are so very grateful.

“Because of the success of this event I’ve now had a lot of interest from people wanting to take part in the Havering Half Marathon day in October and I’m appealing to anyone else who is interested to please get in touch with me.”

To contact Katy send an email to

Check out our slideshow below.

Counselling Standards "Paramount" at HBBS, says Lisa Mason-Gates

Counselling Standards "Paramount" at HBBS, says Lisa Mason-Gates

All counsellors at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services are registered with the UK’s leading professional body to ensure the “highest standard” of treatment, says the charity’s Counselling Manager Lisa Mason-Gates.

Speaking ahead of World Health Day next month (April 7th), Lisa has confirmed that HBBS and all counsellors working for the charity are members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

She explained why it is so important to seek the association with BACP when choosing counselling services.

“When you’re looking for a counsellor, its really important to look for the highest standards,” she explained.

“HBBS is a member of the BACP as are all of our counsellors at HBBS.

“The BACP stands for the  British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

“The BACP is a professional body which supports and maintains the highest standard of the counselling profession.

“HBBS adhere to and follow the ethical guidelines as set out by the BACP so clients know when they come to us they can trust us to work to the highest professional standards.”

HBBS offers counselling to adults and children for a range of issues including bereavement, anxiety, depression, trauma, phobias, relationship breakdown and much more.

A specific project run by the charity is the #4Me programme - part funded by Children In Need - which offers counselling to primary and secondary school children in need of counselling support.

To find our more about the BACP, visit

Help Grieving Children by running Brentwood Half Marathon or Fun Run

Help Grieving Children by running Brentwood Half Marathon or Fun Run

Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services is proud, once again, to be fielding a team for the Brentwood Half Marathon and Fun Run in March.

And we’re on the look out for people who want to support the communities of Brentwood and Havering by taking part in either race for our charity.

Events such as this provide vital fundraising for HBBS through sponsorship generated by those taking part and all of this is used to support the crucial counselling we offer to primary secondary school children across our area.

These services help hundreds of young people each year who are struggling with the loss of a parent or relative.

Katy O’Keefe, the Events and Fundraising Officer at HBBS organises all fundraising events for the cause and is currently heading up recruitment for the races on March 17th.

“The money that is raised at the Brentwood Half Marathon is used for our primary and secondary school counselling services within the local community, this is offered in their own school setting or in the privacy of our counselling rooms in Brentwood and Hornchurch,” she revealed.

“Last year we were able to deliver nearly 3000 sessions as a result of our fundraising efforts and the generous donations from people.

“These children will have suffered a close personal bereavement of a close family member, friend or loved one and we provide the safe and confidential environment for them to get the vital services we provide.”

Putting their money where their mouths are, the O’Keefe family will be taking part in the Fun Run this year and Katy is willing others to join them in support of HBBS.

She said: “The Brentwood Half Marathon is a lovely setting for this event as the route takes you through a number of quaint villages and the atmosphere is very encouraging.

“The fun run is a two-point-nine mile run fit for all the family over eight years old.

“This year my husband will be taking part with my young daughters, whilst I will be looking after our team of runners back at our base with refreshments and secure baggage storage.”

Katy’s other responsibilities at the charity include organising the KiiT Club (Kids In It Together) for children (and siblings) who have been through the counselling service which offers a variety of different social events for them to enjoy which is funded by grants and private donations.

Katy added: “If you would like to join the Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service team for the Brentwood Half Marathon and Fun Run, you'll be running to make a big difference to other peoples' lives across the area.

“We're looking for as many runners as possible to join us on 13.2 mile course across Brentwood & the surrounding villages.”

If you'd like to become part of our #HBBS Half Marathon team all you have to do is click on the link below to register your entry, then just let us know and we will arrange everything else for you.

The link:

Please note: You do not need to pay for a t-shirt when you enter via this website as we'll provide you with this.

To sign up for the 2.9 mile Fun Run simply click on the link above & go to 'Fun Run Entry'. Again, we will provide you with a t-shirt.


Once you have completed your online entry please email & you'll be sent an HBBS registration form.

HBBS Proudly Supports Children's Mental Health Week

HBBS Proudly Supports Children's Mental Health Week

Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services is proud to support Children’s Mental Health Week.

The event - from February 4th-10th - was created to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health and is now in its fifth year.

This year’s theme is Healthy: Inside and Out and a spokesperson for Place2Be, the organisation behind the initiative explained the objectives for the 2019 campaign.

 “When we think about healthy living, we tend to think about on our physical health and wellbeing, predominantly focusing on looking after our bodies. The importance of a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and getting enough sleep is well recognised and promoted, but we don’t always pay as much attention to our mental and emotional wellbeing.

 “In order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after both our bodies and our minds. The two are very closely linked, so the things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing as well. When we take steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out, it helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times.

 “It is estimated that one in every ten children have diagnosable mental health conditions and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement.”

Lisa Mason-Gates, Counselling Manager at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services, revealed why she was keen to back the campaign.

“Children’s mental health is and has always been one of our top priorities, since the creation of the children’s service ten years ago, “ she revealed.

“To have a week dedicated to promoting the importance of children’s mental health is an excellent opportunity to spread awareness.

“HBBS supports children and young people by offering one to one counselling for bereavement and for other issues effecting young people such as anxiety and depression. 

“If any parents or young people would like further information about our services please contact us on 01277 283199.”

There are many ways to get involved and promote Children’s Mental Health Week including free to access materials which can easily be shared online using the hashtag #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek.

To find out more visit


A Few Minutes with Emma Tierney, CEO of Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services

A Few Minutes with Emma Tierney, CEO of Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services

New Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services (HBBS) Chief Executive Officer, Emma Tierney, has vowed to continue building upon the charity’s “excellent” counselling work with adults and young people across the area.

Mrs Tierney - a trained counsellor - is also keen to promote the continued expansion of the areas outside of bereavement although that remains a vitally important aspect of the charity’s work.

HBBS - which was founded in 1989 - offers counselling to adults and children across the area for a range of issues including bereavement, stress and anxiety, depression, phobias, family breakdowns, trauma and support for family carers.

In the last financial year HBBS provided almost 3,000 counselling sessions to people across its catchment area.

With 2019 marking the 30th anniversary of organisation, we spoke to Mrs Tierney about her plans for the year ahead and ambitions for Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services going forward.

She said: “My main ambitions for Havering and Brentwood Counselling Services are to continue the excellent work it carries out supporting children, young people and adults struggling with difficulties.

“In the last financial year we provided more than 2915 sessions which is incredible and just goes to show how much of a need there is for high quality counselling support.

“As a charity we are a member of the professional body BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and I would like to move to the next step in gaining accreditation status for our counselling services too.

“In the past Havering and Brentwood Counselling Services provided bereavement support only; we now provide much more than this. Some of the other projects we run are counselling support for dementia carers in Thurrock and counselling for adults, children and young people with difficulties around areas such as depression, anxiety and stress.

“There is such a huge need for counselling and I believe everyone should have access to this vital support when needed. “

The charity’s counselling work is funded by grants from organisations such as Children in Need and Big Lottery, fundraising events and donations from members of the public.

Mrs Tierney explained how people wishing to support the charity in the year ahead can get involved.

“Members of the public are hugely important in helping us to continue to be able to provide our counselling services,” she explained.

“We have the Brentwood Half Marathon coming up in March and we are looking for people to help by running for us.

“It's our 30th Birthday this year and if we could get 30 runners this would be great and would help us to continue to run the services we do. If people are able to help by donating to us this is also appreciated. We also run many fundraising events and are always looking for people to help support these.”

With plans for the 30th anniversary underway, Mrs Tierney revealed plans for the year ahead.

“I think our 30th anniversary shows how much our services are needed and respected by the local community and our funders.

“We will continue to highlight and raise awareness of what we do to reach as many people as possible who need support.

“We will also work to develop new as well as existing partnerships to ensure our services are around for another 30 years.

“Since joining the charity it is clear how passionate and dedicated the staffing and volunteer teams are and without their support and hard work our services wouldn't be what they are today.”

If you would like to take part in the Brentwood Half Marathon, Fun Run or support Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services in another way, email or call 01277 283190.

My Review of 2018 at HBBS with Sue Newth-Gibbs

My Review of 2018 at HBBS with Sue Newth-Gibbs

The Chair of the Board of Trustees at Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service, Sue Newth-Gibbs, takes a candid view of some of the achievements, opportunities and challenges at the charity over the past year.

“As we enter year a new at HBBS I thought it would be an ideal time for me to reflect upon what has been another exciting and successful 12 months.

We have had more referrals and more sessions for counselling in this very busy year and that trend looks set to continue. The Clinical Team led by Lisa Mason-Gates have done a great job throughout the year as the jigsaw puzzle of taking calls and matching clients to counsellors gets ever more complex.

Thanks to our very own Louise Mundy and Kate O’Keefe for organising so many successful events and associated fund raising is going from strength to strength with a Tea Party, the Annual Ball and the KITT Club events and more is planned for our 30th anniversary this year.

As always we are grateful to our funders including  Children in Need and the Reaching Communities (Big Lottery), also individual donations from Rotary, Martin Hughes and many others.

2018 was also ‘the year of networking’ for us, otherwise known as getting ourselves “out there”.

The Mayor of Brentwood and the Deputy Mayor of Havering attended our AGM, the Mayor of Havering and the Deputy Mayor of Brentwood attend the Ball. We enjoyed visits from the High Sheriff for Essex and Brentwood MP. Eight of us were invited to the Houses of Parliament to meet Mr Speaker John Bercow and Alex Burghart our local MP. Team HBBS attended the Mayor’s Christmas Party at Ingatestone Hall and her Carol Service at St Nicolas Church. We are also invited to meet with the Chair of Essex County Council in January 2019 to discuss our work with schools.

I am very pleased to see Louise Mundy receive the Highly Commended Award in the Ultimate Volunteer category at the Pride of Essex Award ceremony 2018.  One further piece of exciting news is that we have been nominated for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. This is the organisational equivalent of an MBE and we will know the outcome in mid 2019 (so fingers crossed).

In November we said goodbye to Karen Egglestone our CEO and welcomed her successor Emma Tierney. Emma holds accredited BACP status and this provides us with the opportunity to seek accredited status for HBBS. This recognition could have a huge impact on us as it would give us access to new areas of work and projects.

Last year has provided a number of challenges including closure of the Extended Schools Programme, end of the Brentwood NHS contract and the loss of bonded status for the Brentwood Half Marathon.

But as always HBBS rose to the occasion, school contracts are increasing, the paying client service is growing and even the cancellation of the BHM still brought in donations.

No doubt 2019 will bring new challenges but financially and structurally we are in a good place to meet them and will continue to be able to support the local community with the professionalism and quality service that is the hallmark of our organisation.

All that has been achieved in 2018 and the plans for 2019 are about working together. So onward and upward Team HBBS.”

Sue Newth-Gibbs

Chair of Trustees

KiiT Club Christmas Party by HBBS a Real Cracker

A fun festive time was had by all at a special Christmas party for children who have benefited from the services of Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services.

Some 25 children from HBBS’ “Kids in it Together Club” (KiiT) met special guest Father Christmas who treated each with a gift and a dose of festive spirit on December 10th at Upminster Methodist Church.

With faces painting and the DJ playing a host of Christmas tunes, even Santa Claus himself couldn’t resist leaping up to cut some shapes to the 1970s party classic YMCA in front of a joyous audience of children, parents and HBBS helpers.

And to end the event every young guest was presented with a special balloon to release in memory of a loved one.

Katy O’Keefe, Events & Fundraising Officer at HBBS said: “The children had a lovely time playing games, dancing and having a catch up.

“We look forward to our next get together at Jump Evolution in the New Year.”

To find out more about the KiiT Club and HBBS browse our website or call 01277 283199.


HBBS Team Meet John Bercow at Parliament

HBBS Team Meet John Bercow at Parliament

Volunteers and staff at our charity, which offers vital counseling support to children and adults across Brentwood and Havering, were given the “surprise of a lifetime” after landing an unexpected 45 minute audience with John Bercow while on a group tour of Parliament.


Members of the team at Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service met with The Speaker of the House of Commons for an unexpected “chat” after completing a public tour of the historic Westminster chambers last week.


The rendezvous was arranged by Alex Burghart, MP for Brentwood & Ongar, who was impressed by the charity’s work after making a visit to their offices in William Hunter Way last December.


Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service has given more than 800 counselling sessions to school children across its catchment area in the past 18 months alone.


It now has a waiting list of young people who are seeking help for issues including bereavement, depression, anxiety and self harm and is seeking funding to secure the service into the future.


The trip to Westminster was arranged by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Dennis Rensch, MBE, a long-term supporter of the cause who approached Mr Burghart earlier this year.


Chair of the Board of Trustees at the charity, Sue Newth-Gibbs, described the meeting with Mr Bercow as an “eye-opening, tremendous surprise”.


She said: “We were looking forward to the tour and we’d heard that we might get to meet Mr Bercow which in itself was a very exciting prospect for our team, but we didn’t expect to be in the Speaker’s rooms for almost an hour.”


The eight-strong delegation from HBBS, made up of volunteers, counsellors, and support staff, also had the opportunity to put questions to Mr Bercow, who has held the post for nine years.


Mrs Newth-Gibbs added: “The look on some of our team’s faces were priceless, the tour of the Commons and the Lords was enough but this made it all extra memorable.


“Bear in mind that this was Budget day and after about 15 minutes one of Mr Bercow’s assistants came in to remind him that he had another appointment, but he carried on chatting to us for another half an hour, we couldn’t believe it all.


“I have to say, I was very impressed with Mr Bercow who seemed extremely well-versed on the work of our charity and he offered us some great advice on how we could build upon what we’ve achieved so far by building a corporate strategy and working with local influencers.


“He even suggested we could hold a future event at Parliament to raise awareness.”


The Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, MP, presided over the Budget session on the day.


Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service was founded in 1989 and will celebrate its 30thanniversary in 2019.


It will also be marking its tenth year of providing counselling services for children next year.


Despite the charity’s name, it offers a range of counseling services to adults and children for issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, relationships problems, family breakdown, parenting and trauma.


The charity relies upon grants, donations and events to fund these services.

A Tribute to HBBS Founder Louise Sinclair

A Tribute to HBBS Founder Louise Sinclair

It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of Louise Sinclair.

Louise Sinclair was the founder and first Chair of HBBS. She set up the charity just as she was finishing her first term as Mayor of Havering in 1989. She gathered a a professional group of people around her to form a Management Committee, begged a tiny room from St Francis Hospice, sought small grants from Havering, Brentwood and Essex Councils, recruited a coordinator for four hours a week and launched a charity that offered free bereavement counselling to the residents of Havering and Brentwood.

Income in year one about £4K.

She was a woman ahead of her time, bereavement counselling thirty years ago was unknown and untested territory. It just was not talked about and so little understood. Her contribution, commitment and chairmanship in those first few years of the charity’s life were crucial to its continuing success.

I was last in touch with Louise about 4 years ago when we celebrated our 25th anniversary. She was then 92 but was delighted that we were still running, requested a copy of the annual report and quizzed me at length about our then £200k a year income!

A truly remarkable woman who had the foresight to set up a service that is more in demand today than any of us could have imagined thirty years ago.

RIP Louise - a job well done.

Louise Mundy Highly Commended at Pride of Essex Awards

Louise Mundy Highly Commended at Pride of Essex Awards

We are delighted to announce that our volunteer Business Manager, Louise Mundy was Highly Commended in the Ultimate Category at the Pride of Essex Awards on November 20th.

Louise was praised for her efforts in raising monies to enable the service to continue offering emotional well-being support to local people and for her stewardship of our Kids in it Together activity club for recently bereaved children and their siblings.

Congratulations and well done, Louise.