What is a CIC?

In 2017 NWCH was founded to help support the local community with their mental health and wellbeing. We are, on occasion, mistaken for a charity, however, we are in fact a Community Interest Company (CIC). 

 

A CIC, as the name suggests is a social enterprise that exists to benefit the community rather than shareholders. A CIC is still a limited company, but its objectives are to offer services or to benefit the community in a certain way. 

 

To become a CIC, we were required to submit a community interest statement, to outline what we intended to do, with particular reference to how our services will benefit the community. Once set up, we then had the responsibility to undertake activities to fulfil our purpose in accordance with the statement. This information is in the public domain, and should anyone wish to find the statement they can do so on Companies House. 

 

The directors at NWCH identified a huge gap in the counselling support that is provided to young people in particular. We wanted to provide a service that, unlike many others within the area, offers a safe, secure and consistent environment for young people to access counselling and begin to rebuild their lives. 

 

Our main goal is to provide a central hub to support the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people, adults, families and couples within Lincolnshire – including; 

 

  • Young people in abusive relationships
  • Young parents
  • Young people who have experienced sexual abuse or rape
  • Families who are facing cancer

 

Unlike a charity, a CIC is restricted in terms of the funding they can apply for. Although there are restrictions – there are funding opportunities available and within the first year NWCH received funding for their Acorn Project – which helped young people between the ages of four and 18 years old, who have suffered sexual abuse or rape.

 

The Acorn Project was made possible with the help of grants and donations from The Key Fund and Bromhead Medical Charity. The hub has also received grants from The National Lottery and more recently The Police Crime Commissioner. The hub also receives donations from local businesses in the form of monetary donations or help with services as well as from the general public. These donations are gratefully received and within the confines of the CIC are used for specific projects or development of the hub’s facilities. Unlike a charity, the funds that we receive are usually allocated to a specific purpose. As a CIC, NWCH is bound by an ‘asset lock’, this is a legal promise that the company’s assets will only be used for its social objectives. 

 

A CIC is a social enterprise that can trade and offer services to the public. We offer counselling services at a cost, but we also provide counselling to those who are most in need and who, without this help would not be able to access services that they desperately need. We do this either by funding sessions through projects like the Acorn project or helping clients access funding, through the Bromhead charity.

 

Whilst it is not mandatory, to show accountability we have a board of directors, which is made up of 1 director and 3 non-executive directors. We also have a team of panel members who hold the directors accountable as well as offering valuable opinions around their own areas of expertise.

 

We hope this blog has helped you to understand our situation as a CIC. Ultimately we want to help as many people in our community as possible. We employ only experienced, qualified and registered counsellors who have the skills and knowledge to really help those in need. By receiving grants and donations we can continue to provide counselling services to the people of Lincolnshire who otherwise would not be able to access the help they desperately need. 

 

If you would like to donate you can do so here https://nwcounsellinghub.co.uk/donations/

 

Or for more information on accessing counselling, you can call us on (01522) 253809 Or you can CLICK HERE

Double funding boost

Lincoln-based counsellors are celebrating grants totalling £101,000 during an intense period of overwhelming demand for their services.

The team at the NWCH (the Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub) are thrilled to announce that it has been awarded £70,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund and received £20,000 from The Key Fund – matching bids from the Community Interest Company.

Read the full article below.

Mental Health and Covid-19 NWCH

On March 23rd 2020 the UK went into lockdown. With such drastic changes happening so quickly for the country, there were big adjustments to be made both in our day to day lives as well as mentally. Now as the lockdown eases and the world begins its ‘new normal’ there are a whole new set of feelings and emotions coming to light.

When lockdown began we took the decision to go online – we simply could not let our clients go without the much-needed counselling sessions. It was incredibly important to us that we could offer help to anyone who needed it. This came with its own challenges – ensuring that our clients were able to speak confidentially to us and that our counsellors had the correct technology and private space as well as ensuring the platforms we were using were safe.

We worked hard to allow our clients to be able to access their much-needed counselling and to support any individuals and businesses that needed our help.

Lockdown was a new experience for everyone. Despite the fact that we were all experiencing the same lockdown restrictions, everyone’s experience of it was vastly different. There were children missing the structure and support of the school and their friends, parents homeschooling their children whilst trying to work full time, key workers supporting their community by continuing to work as well as people facing uncertainty about their jobs – and these are just a few of the many scenarios. When you consider the huge transitions people made in such a small time, it is understandable that so many people experienced negative feelings such as anxiety, stress, low mood/depression or loneliness, some for the first time in their lives.

For many people, these feelings are often temporary, however, if left untreated these feelings can develop and soon become overwhelming. It is important to seek help before this point – which is why we wanted to keep our services available during the pandemic. A recent survey by Nuffield Health reported that around 80% of British people working from home now feel lockdown has had a negative impact on their mental health, while a quarter of those (25%) said they were finding it difficult to cope with the emotional challenges of isolation. It is vital at times like this, that we check in with those around us and reach out if we feel negative emotions.

During difficult times we can try to protect our mental health – here are just a few tips:

Read-only reputable news – ensure you have the facts and don’t allow yourself to be taken in by fake news.

Keep in touch with your friends & family – Social media is a great way to keep in touch with those around you, but try and limit your screen time and avoid scrolling through social platforms for too long.

Keep active – Although there were restrictions on exercise at first, enjoying the outdoors can really boost your mood and allow you to feel free from the confines of your home.

Plan your day – Having a plan can help you to feel more in control, especially when you cannot control what is happening in the outside world.

Try meditation – Meditation & yoga are a great way to relax and clear your mind to focus on the present.

Sleep – Although you may find it difficult to sleep right now, it is important that you try as best you can. Avoiding technology before bed can help you to get a good night’s rest.

These tips are helpful, but no matter how small or insignificant you think your feelings are, it is important to seek professional help and advice sooner rather than later. You can have a free telephone consultation with us and find out more about our counselling services.

Over the past month, we have been busy putting in place new measures to ensure the safety of our clients and counsellors, so that we can begin seeing our clients face to face. We have installed screens, providing face masks and face coverings, hand sanitiser is available and we are only using the larger rooms so that there is enough distance during sessions.

As the lockdown eases, it is important to understand that not everyone is feeling good about the situation. There is a lot of change and uncertainty, for people already battling with their mental health it can become even more stressful. If you are feeling worried or nervous about the ‘new normal’ it is important not to hide these feelings. Talk to someone about them or seek help from a professional if you need to.

No matter how small or insignificant you feel your problems might be, it is important to acknowledge and overcome these feelings in the right way. If you need to speak to a qualified professional and experienced counsellor we can help you. You can arrange a free initial consultation and we aim to speak to you within 24 hours so there is no waiting around.

Click here to contact us today.