Jacqui is our counselling service coordinator, working with the Community Wellbeing team. She lives in Birmingham and in her spare time enjoys walking and yoga. She has 19 years experience in Social Work, working with children and families. She started training as a counsellor 26 years ago, taking a long break to study as a social worker and be a mum to her 2 children. She returned to continue her training in Counselling four and a half years ago.
We asked Jacqui to tell us more about her role at Valley House.
I have been working as a counsellor for the past 3 years, I have a successful private counselling practice in Birmingham and see clients on a part time bases as well as teaching counselling skills to Counselling Certificate students at Newman University in Birmingham.
I have been working at Valley House for three years, I’ve really found Valley House to be a good grounding experience after coming from such a busy, demanding role.
My current role as Counselling Co-ordinator started in December 2020, covering maternity leave. I manage a team of 5 students who are training to become counsellors, and two qualified staff members. All staff are committed to working towards either 50 or 100 volunteered hours of counselling.
I undertake assessments when I receive referrals and manage the day to day needs of the service, for example supporting staff in their role.
The counselling service has recently started to work with clients from Kairos. Kairos is a service which supports women who are experiencing or who have experienced sexual exploitation.
The counselling service offers 6 months counselling to mainly Valley House Service users, once they have received an assessment, each client is offered a 50 min session. Clients are seen face to face, online and have telephone counselling, Covid-19 has impacted on the amount of clients we are able to see face to face, but it’s great that we have still been able to support people through the pandemic.
Counsellors are working with issues related to trauma, drug and alcohol issues, loss, childhood issues, anxiety and depression and other personal issues.
What are your hopes for the future of the counselling service?
We are a very in demand service, we primarily work with our service users, I hope that the future, funding may be identified for paid counsellors, so that we can also support people from the community.
We hope to continue working with clients from Kairos and develop a good partnership that may offer other opportunities for other organisations from across Coventry to access our counselling service.
If you would like to support Valley House and it’s counselling service, you can send a donation using this link.
If you’d like to find out more about our Community Wellbeing Service, follow this link.