Join us for Cogwheel Sunday on 21st May!
This new annual day follows Mental Health Awareness Week and aims to encourage local churches and other faith groups to think and about mental health and wellness and raise awareness of the services that are available. Here at Cogwheel we help people who are struggling with a whole range of issues by giving them a safe place to talk with a highly trained professional. People contribute only what they can afford, so we rely on donations and grants to help pay the bills.
If you would like your church to get involved you can find a range of materials here which you might want to display or base a service around. Paper copies can be supplied on request. If you have any questions or would like someone to come and talk to a group about Cogwheel please contact us at email@example.com.
What is Cogwheel
You could say that we are here to help when life slips out of gear…
Talking in a safe space with a highly trained professional can be a real help to anyone who is suffering from worry, stress, burnout, depression, family or relationship problems or other issues. Timely counselling can prevent further problems from developing.
Affordable, subsidised counselling, is at the heart of what we do. Most of our clients are unable to access counselling privately, and whilst the NHS is now offering more psychological help than in recent years, there is still a great need for the service that we offer. Our highly trained counsellors offer weekly sessions for 10 or more weeks, and this continuity is very important. We are the only service in the area which caters to the needs of children, teenagers, adults and couples.
Cogwheel arose from the vision of Jenny Joice, a practising Christian, who was inspired to collaborate with others to open up an easily accessible counselling centre In 1988 Cogwheel was founded and Jenny worked with others in her church communities to provide a voluntary counselling service to those in need.
Key to the original Cogwheel vision was a real sense of communal interdependence … which offered the wider Cambridge community love and understanding in action, with no hidden agenda.
Initially the counsellors worked from a Christian perspective but Jenny was adamant that the counselling should not be confined by the narrow limitations of the training and practice of the prevailing Christian counselling courses. Cogwheel counsellors were expected to have undertaken rigorous training on accredited secular courses. One of the riches of this communal life is that with so many counsellors trained and working from different therapeutic models, understanding and learning across our differences continues through shared supervision.
Today, 28 years on, we are a thriving organisation with about 40 part-time counsellors, both volunteers and paid. In 2015 we provided over 5000 affordable sessions and assessments, signposting others on to more suitable resources. Our service is very well respected in the community, with about 70% of our clients seeking us out on the recommendation of their GPs.
Uniquely we are truly affordable, with about 90% of the people we provide for requiring a subsidy of some sort. Nearly 40% of our clients can only afford to contribute our minimum of £10 per session, this is usually reserved for people who are unemployed or on benefits.
What we offer the community
Cogwheel is the only counselling service in Cambridgeshire providing affordable counselling to couples and to individuals of all ages: children, teenagers, young adults, those in middle age and pensioners. Some people come in great distress, but many others seek help with emotional difficulties or want help to change patterns of behaviour that are unhelpful.
We have three centres: in central Cambridge, in Ely and in Sawston. We also work in schools in Linton and Sawston.
We offer recently qualified counsellors and some who are in the final stages of their training the opportunity to volunteer alongside the rest of the team. They are able to develop their skills and receive additional training in a supportive environment. Some stay on with Cogwheel, and many move on to work outside the organisation.
We are able to offer listening skills workshops to groups. Learning to listen in a relational way can help to build better relationships and lead to a better understanding of partners, children and others.
If you are interested in organising a workshop for church members or a home group, please get in touch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone 01223 464385
What has faith to do with Cogwheel?
Reflecting on what Biblical texts might be helpful for Cogwheel Sunday, we drew on:
- what has been important to us,
- why Christians are involved with Cogwheel and
- how this involvement is linked to our Christian faith.
Looking at these three areas we felt that the following texts had been an inspiration. They are offered without any expectations that you will use them, but with the hope that they will be helpful.
Psalm 139: God’s presence in darkness
Jeremiah 29: The need to pray and work for the common good.
John 10.1-10: Our hope for fullness of life, not just for ourselves but for everyone in our communities and for the whole world
What people say…
I will miss my weekly sessions but feel stronger to work on my own.
I think The Cogwheel Trust provides an excellent and much needed service to people in Cambridgeshire.
I would like to say how I am very pleased with how the sessions went and how it has helped him have a better outlook on the positives of myself and his dads divorce.
My experience was totally positive. I didn’t have to wait very long for an appointment. My situation has turned around and I am able to go forward very happily.
I am very grateful to you for letting me have this counselling at a very desperate time for me, it was invaluable and I found my weekly sessions extremely supportive and helpful.
Cogwheel felt safer than seeking counselling privately because I felt that my needs were met in a holistic way. The issues I had were not initially what I thought my main problem was and I felt I was able to address this.
The whole process of the meetings I have helped me so much to get back on track. I now deal better with my thoughts and actions and my life is getting better because of Cogwheel.
One couple feels that Cogwheel changed their lives.
In 1991 they were married but, as time went by, all was not well, “when the children were small we found that we were getting out of synch with each other “.
They approached The Cogwheel Trust for help and, Cogwheel’s “Christian-inspired counselling service offered just the help we needed. Our marriage was put back on track, and we haven’t looked back. Our relationship has just got richer.”
On their 25th Wedding Anniversary they celebrated with family and friends and invited them to donate to The Cogwheel Trust in gratitude for help they had received, and the impact it had had on their lives.
Cogwheel relationship counselling is not just for couples who are experiencing difficulties, but also for those who would like to understand each other better. Talking together with a qualified professional can make a real difference to a relationship.
Listen to one man’s reflections
One woman’s experience
What could your donation do?
£5 could help us to provide a listening ear on the phone.
£25 could subsidise an initial assessment session.
£50 could subsidise two play sessions for a child in distress.
£100 could provide 4 weeks’ clinical supervision for 3 counsellors.
£250 could subsidise 10 weekly sessions for a depressed person on benefits.
£375 could subsidise 15 sessions for a financially disadvantaged couple who are struggling in their relationship.
£500 could give someone a safe place to address long-standing issues with 5 months of counselling.
Cogwheel was founded 28 years ago and works throughout Cambridgeshire to improve the emotional and psychological well-being of local people. We are the only general provider of affordable counselling in Cambridgeshire.
Today Cogwheel has:
- 3 centres – in central Cambridge, Ely and Sawston.
- about 40 dedicated part time counsellors, paid and volunteer.
- experienced supervisors.
- a small team providing administrative support and
- a dedicated group of Trustees.
In 2015 Cogwheel:
- was contacted by over 650 people.
- provided over 5,000 sessions.
- Is attended by people most of whom benefit dramatically from their weekly counselling sessions.
Emotional difficulties and mental ill-health are common:
- One person in four will experience mental ill-health at some time in their lives.
- Depression, debilitating anxiety and other difficulties can affect anyone,
- Having money, a job or good community doesn’t mean it can’t affect you.
- We all know someone who has struggled.
- It can feel shameful to the sufferer who may therefore hide their condition.
- These people are our family, our friends, our employers and our employees.
Coming to Cogwheel:
- Clients are asked to contribute towards the cost of their counselling.
- This contribution is always affordable.
- we do not receive any government or NHS funding.
- the shortfall between our outgoings and income from clients has to be met from donations.