Reaching Out (Counselling Service)

After beginning back in 2007 with Reaching Out Counselling Service we now deliver of a range of projects supported by 30 staff.


How do We Work?

People who behave in ways that are destructive to themselves, their families or their communities have often experienced overwhelming trauma themselves. The legacy of emotional distress this leaves often manifests itself – and is made worse by – a tangle of other complex issues. With the support of the services we offer, people can work out what is or was beyond their control, and what is within their power to change. The impact on their lives, and on those around them, can be dramatic.

What do we do?

Many of our clients fall into the category of high need and have complex mental health problems. We give them the professional support they need to recover good mental health to the benefit of themselves, their families and the community. Our specialist counsellors build trust and then guide clients through emotional recovery. We may, for example, help someone manage their anger or anti-social behaviour, while working through underlying fear, anger or grief. Our clients often have other needs relating to drug use, housing, employment etc. By working with other services within Barca-Leeds or elsewhere, we can offer truly ‘wrap around’ care. We also work with schools. We treat people with total acceptance; they feel respected, cared for and valued, perhaps for the first time ever. With increasing emotional resilience, they then begin to change their lives.

How could we help the service grow?

We enjoy a reputation as a service that works effectively with some of the most high-need clients in Leeds. As a result, though, we have a long and growing waiting list. An increasing number of referrals are for young people who are angry, aggressive, self-harming, refusing to go to school or involved in crime. Many have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. By the time they see us, their needs have often become acute, and they are in crisis. We support schools to prioritise counselling as an effective intervention: by buying into our service, they can make sure that their distressed young people don’t end up on a long waiting list.

Reaching Out Counselling & Psychotherapy Service

Reaching Out Counselling & Psychotherapy Service has been in existence since 2007, we are now Lottery funded and have been since 2011. We have a team of 10 volunteers, 9 of these are fully qualified and we support one counselling student. The service offers counselling to clients living in West Leeds postcode areas LS12,13 and 28 who are experiencing moderate to severe, complex mental and emotional health issues. Clients aged 12+ can be referred into the counselling service by professionals and also via self-referral. The service delivers two groups – You and Your Anger for men and Mindfulness for Emotional Wellbeing for people aged over 18. For more information please call 01132 209037 or email Heather Nash –

TaMHS – Targeted Mental Health in Schools

TaMHS is a Government based initiative which supports schools in offering emotional support to children. It has been recognised that failing to support a child who may be experiencing emotional difficulties will have a direct impact on their ability to engage in school. In order to improve attendance figures, reduce CAL (Children Looked After) and CYPP (Child and Young person Protection Plan)figures in Leeds the funding has been made available.  The schools are expected to match fund the government contribution. As a therapy service we have tendered and secured funding in four schools clusters:

Beeston Cottingley and Middleton Schools cluster – delivering early intervention work as well as more in-depth support for children aged 5+

ACES (Armley Cluster Extended Services) TaMHS Family Support – The purpose of this project is to provide short-term interventions that will help strengthen families by improving mental and emotional health using a restorative approach. This will support the work of the TAMHS counsellors already in post in the cluster. The project is funded for 2 years with an aim of further commissioning.

Pudsey Schools Cluster Counsellor – delivering early intervention work as well as more in-depth support for children aged 5+

The Inner East Leeds Schools Cluster Counselling Service – delivering early intervention work for children aged 5+ and their parents living in the Inner East of Leeds.

Clinical Commissioning Group – Time for You Group Work Project

This newly commissioned project will offer unstructured group work for at risk and socially isolated adults from 4 community based settings in West Leeds – New Wortley Children’s Centre, Confidence building group at Armley Park Court in Armley, Swinnow Children’s Centre, and  Stockhill’s day centre. The group runs an ongoing programme of events, talks, activities and away days, as well as an annual residential planned by the group members themselves. This work expands on the very successful Positive Communication group, which has run from the New Wortley community centre for the past 2 years. For more information please contact Sallyann Crosskill – or Jacquie Williams –

Employee Assistance Programme & External Staff Support

We deliver therapeutic support for employees in other services who may be in need of counselling. We also deliver clinical supervision and reflective practice supervision to employees in other services. Delivered by the senior team. Please contact Heather Nash –


Website Sponsored, Developed and Built by Code Blue Digital