Counselling and Family Centre
The Counselling and Family Centre has been supporting the community in Altrincham and beyond for over 40 years and, for the last ten years from its location on Mayors Road in Altrincham. The Centre’s website defines itself as a service which is there ’For Whatever Life Throws at You’ and confidential counselling is offered to everyone of whatever age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. Trained counsellors work with adults, children and young people, couples and families at the centre, in schools and even in people’s homes if clients have mobility issues.
Although there is a charge for counselling, The Counselling & Family Centre is a charity, and through the generous support of a variety of funders and donors is able to offer eight hours of counselling free of charge to clients with a household income of less than £30 000. Further sessions are charged at a reduced rate.
The Centre also offers a range of free public courses and support groups all run by experienced counsellors. Recent courses have included parenting classes for parents of young children and teenagers, and support groups addressing issues of anger management, self-esteem and confidence. From 2017 there will also be a support group for teenagers who are struggling and issues, and an ongoing course in mindfulness
This year the charity refurbished two of its rooms facing into Stamford Park and opened them to the public as The Café in the Park - a community hub with a café and a bookable room – the Café Lounge. The Lounge can be used without charge for non-chargeable activities otherwise it costs just £12 an hour to rent the space. It is very well used by community groups, children’s groups, meditation groups and the University of the Third Age. If you’d like to hire a room for your activity, get in touch.
The Centre backs onto the Park. The Lounge is for hire by clubs etc
The Café is run by the charity and is mainly staffed by volunteers, including some of the counsellors. Working at the café can earn volunteers a very useful qualification in Food Hygiene at Level 1. The Centre and the café both work with the Step On project – a back to work programme run by the probation service providing opportunities for participants in the café and in reception in the centre. More volunteers are always welcome and larger numbers mean that the Café can stay open for more hours a week.
The Café Friday Club gathers every Friday (of course) from 10.30 until 12.30. Everyone is very welcome to drop by to get involved in the wide range of activities on offer which include knitting and sewing projects, PC training, walking, singing, book swaps – and anything else you can think of! The PCs in the Café are available for anyone to use for working, email or applying for jobs.
So Altrincham had never visited the Café in the Park before and found it a very welcoming and comfortable space. The mocha is highly recommended! The café has an outside space for sunny days and opens out onto a play area divided from the rest of the park by a fence so that little ones can’t wander too far.
If you would like to find out more about the Counselling and Family Centre or The Café in the Park have a look at their website here.