Born in a Mini in 1984

 In Give2Gain CIC

Beginnings: in 1984, three local women recognised the need for people in Bramhall to access counselling for bereavement and relationships. A conversation in the back of a Mini led to the birth of Beacon Counselling with just two volunteers; one counsellor and one receptionist.

For the first ten years, the service continued to be delivered with just a few volunteers. Gradually, staff were employed, and services expanded. Counselling in schools became their next adventure. The first school they went into was Bramhall High School and they are still there today!

Today: Beacon improves the lives of 2,000 adults, young people and children each year, working across the borough of Stockport and in 3 other boroughs.  Beacon has developed significant expertise in a wide range of issues, including anxiety and depression, sexual abuse, child grooming and exploitation, and trauma. They support people following sexual, physical or domestic abuse, as well as survivors of other traumas, such as the 2017 Manchester Attack. James, their Chief Executive, says that mental health is everyone’s problem today and that Beacon’s impact is to help people deal with challenges now then move on through giving people the skills and resilience to deal with current and future challenges.

Five Adult Services are Offered:

  1. Generic Counselling Services.
  2. Brief (highly focused) Counselling Services.
  3. Employee Support Services.
  4. A suicide prevention project.
  5. Private Practice.

Three Children’s Services are Offered:

  1. Schools: delivered in 22 primary and secondary schools across Stockport, Manchester, High Peak, Cheshire East and Rochdale.
  2. Liberty: trauma therapy and counselling for children and young adults who have experienced sexual exploitation.
  3. Evolve: improves the lives of young people who are leaving the care system

In 2008, they won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and in 2012 they were awarded the Glaxo-SmithKline IMPACT award, one of the top awards for UK charities. In 2013, they won 1st prize in the national charity governance awards, ahead of a large national charity and a housing trust.  Today, their Brief Therapy Service is in the top 0.1% in the country for recovery. Beacon’s Employee Support service, launched in 2016, has helped companies reduce their staff sickness levels whilst also improving their well-being and resilience.

Give2Gain Community: James and his team have an ambition to be a centre of excellence for mental well-being across Greater Manchester within the next five years. Beacon is keen to make valuable contributions to Stockport communities and that being a member of the Give2Gain Community is an excellent way to do it!

They want to continue to contribute to the local community and be part of the inclusive economy in Stockport. They are particularly keen to work across sectors in Stockport and believe it is more important to work with shared values and attitudes rather than staying sector specific. Overall, they believe that together we are stronger, which is why they have come so far from that first conversation in the back of a Mini.

Please visit our Give2Gain Community Members page for all of Beacon Counselling’s contact and online community details.

Why not join our journey of endless possibilities by becoming a member of the Give2Gain Community at



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