Accessibility Strategy

Tunbridge Wells Counselling Centre


Accessibility Strategy for the Counselling Service 2019-2022

Introduction
The Board of Trustees in conjunction with the Management team aim to conduct regular reviews of the Centre’s mission and strategy and accessibility of the services provided by the Centre to all members of the community are reviewed within this process.

The counselling service is aimed at being available to all adult members of Tunbridge Wells and nearby villages and towns. There is no defined geographical boundary set around provision of service, and essentially clients are able to self- select on the basis of whether they are able to travel to the Centre to access to weekly counselling.
It is worth noting that client records held and monitored by the Centre only record home addresses of clients and it can happen that a client’s place of work means that coming to The Centre for counselling is more feasible than their home address might suggest.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Centre’s clients are residents of Tunbridge Wells (65%) and the immediate surroundings and for the purposes of the overall strategy of the Centre it is this geographical area which is used to set objectives in terms of meeting potential needs within the community.
87.5% of people living in Tunbridge Wells were born in England. Other countries of birth were 1.4% Scotland, 0.8% Wales, 0.7% South Africa, 0.6% Ireland, 0.5% India, 0.4% Northern Ireland, 0.4% United States, 0.3% Philippines, 0.3% Australia. There is no intended action within the Centre at this time as a result of this demographic characteristic.
95.7% of people living in Tunbridge Wells speak English. There is no intended action within the Centre at this time as a result of this demographic characteristic.

Strategic Aims
For the 3 year period 1 August 2019 – 31 July 2021 the high level objectives for the Centre in terms of accessibility to our services are as follows:
1. Maintain the current gender balance in keeping with local population statistics where in a population of just over 118,000, 49% are male and 51% are female –
in terms of clients being seen in the counselling service in 2019, 41% are male and 59% are female
2. Attract more young adults into the service – to support early intervention advantages, clinically, and to reinforce the existing representation of the proportions of young adults in the community within the counselling service.

Within the service 10% of clients fall in the age range 18-25 which is a reasonable representation of the population of the community which is at around 11%

3. Train to enhance the Centre’s existing counselling capability with respect to neuro-atypical adults to allow the service to be further promoted for their needs

4. Consider what might be done to ensure that the LGBTQ community are made aware of the service as a discrete group within the target population as there is no specific provision for this group regarding mental health support in the Tunbridge Wells area.

5. Develop and extend training and build confidence for clinicians to work with a range of disabilities eg blind or partially sighted, hearing impaired

None of the above groups are absent from those who use the Centre’s counselling service, however the overarching aim for this period is to ensure that through a combined process of training and promotion via appropriate channels, that there is a better understanding and confidence within the community of how The Centre may be able to provide support.

It will be the responsibility of the Head of Centre supported as necessary by the Heads of Training and Counselling to take the strategy and devise action plans to address each point.

In each case the ability to deliver on this strategy will be wholly dependent on the resources (human and financial) available to the charity at any one time to make progress.

The strategy will be reviewed quarterly at Board meetings throughout the period and amended therein as necessary.