Lincoln graduate’s counselling business makes a difference

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A University of Lincoln graduate has helped more than 180 people with mental health issues since setting up her counselling business less than a year ago.

NW Counselling Hub CIC was co-founded by Alex Parkin and Naomi Watkins in April 2017, just a month before Alex graduated in Health and Social Care.

Alex met her co-director, Naomi, while attending a Domestic Abuse conference organised by university health and social care students, which then led to work-based practice.

The consultancy has grown to 18 trained counsellors, who are now based at Allenby Business Park in Crofton Road in Lincoln, including two therapy dogs.

“People can sometimes be waiting months for the counselling support they need in the here and now.

“By creating the hub ourselves, we have been able to tailor a service for the wider community,” said Alex.

“I believe being self-employed and running a company has allowed me to use [my course] knowledge even more as I have been able to use the teaching materials and also my tutor’s experiences and knowledge to ensure I shape the business in a way that works for the service user and empowers them.”

Alex and Naomi’s counselling business provides support through face-to-face sessions, online or through the phone.

NWCH offers other facilities like support groups for young people and parents for almost all problems, ranging from abusive relationships to addictions. They also collaborate with other agencies to offer support and advice.

Helping the new generation of counsellors, Alex’s business also provides training opportunities for people who are looking to pursue a career in this field.