FOR many years it was the NatWest Bank in Hampden Park.
Now 23-25 Brassey Avenue has been transformed into The Old Bank Wellbeing Trust.
The not-for-profit company is run by directors Claire Howell and Dani Guy, both qualified counsellors.
They offer a wide variety of counselling and psychotherapy services in a safe, warm, simple, confident and confidential environment.
There is a team of 25 counsellors – and growing.
So too is the number of people who are accessing the services, at present around 120 but also going up as well.
Claire said: “Myself and Dani were both associated with the Shinewater Shaftesbury Centre Trust, and when that sadly closed in 2019, we decided to set up ourselves.
“We started renovating the building in September of that year and our model was always a low-key start to develop our offering.
“We had planned to open in Easter 2020 but that was, of course, not possible due to the national Lockdown.
“We finally opened in June last year and currently offer both face to face and online sessions to individuals, couples, children and young people
“Our aim has always been to be affordable, fully accessible and discreet.”
People can access their services for a wide range of issues through counselling and psychotherapy services for individuals and couples together with art therapy and talking therapies for children and young people
Dani said the service is very client focused.
She said: “We realise how important relationships are when it comes to counselling and psychotherapy.
“Our prices vary, depending on whether you access one of our highly trained counsellors or a number of student counsellors we also have on their placements. The range is around £15-£60 an hour and we are developing a bursary fund to assist clients who otherwise would not be able to access our services.
“We also work with a number of charities, providing support to some of the people they support and engage with.
“One is Mankind, an excellent charity in Eastbourne.
“We are happy to work with other local charities where there is a specific need.
“At present, around 50 per cent of our clients are men and 50 per cent women and most of the clients so far have come from recommendation and word of mouth.”
The Old Bank will also be offering four-week courses for young people where students’ wellbeing is more important than ever after Lockdown.
The Old Bank is open seven days a week and open to all. It’s the chance to talk to someone.
Training of first aid for mental health will resume after Lockdown.
All counsellors are members of professional counselling bodies and adhere to the ethical principles of The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01323 502827. You can also text 07737 570702.