About Us2018-10-12T09:53:10+01:00


“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.”

The Cogwheel Trust is a charity, motivated by its Christian ethos, working throughout Cambridgeshire to improve the emotional and psychological well being of local people. The Cogwheel Trust endeavours to carry out its mission by:

  1. Providing a range of counselling and psychotherapy services, including a substantial proportion of subsidised places for those on low income;
  2. Improving access to counselling and psychotherapy services (our own and the services of other providers in the region);
  3. Promoting emotional and psychological well-being.

Annual Review 2016/17

As we approach the 30th Anniversary of the founding of Cogwheel next year, I am pleased to report that Cogwheel has achieved a new milestone – being formally accredited by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). This has been achieved because of the consistent standard of the counselling maintained by our counselling team with the active support of our Head of Counselling and Supervisors. Cogwheel is
the only accredited counselling service in Cambridgeshire. To have this recognition, from BACP, of the quality of our work to reduce the mental wellbeing challenges in the Cambridgeshire community is a testament to the experience accumulated over the last 30 years.
View the full report here.


Cogwheel began in 1988 and one of the founding members was Jenny Joice a practising Christian who following her own personal turbulent history was inspired to collaborate with others to open up a counselling centre which would be readily available to people. She worked with others in her Church communities to provide a voluntary and accessible counselling service to those in need. 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 practices of the prevailing Christian counselling courses. To quote from Jenny, unlike other Christian Counselling Services springing up at the time key to the Cogwheel vision was a real sense of communal interdependence, a flat organisation which offered the wider Cambridge community love and understanding in action, with no hidden agenda of evangelism or placing “bums on pews”. Counsellors were expected to have undertaken rigorous training on accredited secular courses. One of the riches of this communal life was that with so many counsellors trained and working with different therapeutic models, understanding and learning continued through shared supervision (sic).


Cogwheel is most fortunate to have a team of almost 45 dedicated part time counsellors. Many of our counsellors are volunteers who usually commit to working for the organisation for at least two years or more. Our counsellors are professionally trained or in the final stages of their qualification and are able offer a variety of counselling approaches, from psychodynamic to person centred to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Many of them are accredited or working towards accreditation with BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and or UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy). All counsellors are supported in their clinical work by a team of qualified and experienced supervisors who ensure that the work carried out is ethical and professional and in keeping with BACP guidelines.

Office Staff

Cogwheel has a small team who provide essential administrative support without whom the work could not take place. We have a Lead Administrator who takes referrals and books appointments and generally liaises with clients and counsellors.
There is a Clinical Administrator who deals with the database and documentation.
She is also the Children’s Liaison Worker and coordinates the work between the children’s therapists and parents. There is a finance officer and a fundraiser who bring their expertise and commitment to the benefit of the organisation
Overseeing the whole charity and guiding us is a small and equally dedicated group of Trustees who between them provide a range of expertise and experience in managing charities and community projects.

Ethos and Values

The Cogwheel Trust has a Christian ethos underpinning our values but we exist to serve all those with emotional and psychological difficulties, regardless of their faith position.

The Trustees relationship with, and faith in, Jesus Christ was central to the establishment of the Cogwheel Trust and continues to be at the heart of the Trust’s ongoing work. We are not, however, a proselytising organisation: Cogwheel offers a secular service from a Christian motivation. We employ staff and volunteers who are Christians, other faiths and no faith; we do not provide Christian Counselling, though this could be arranged by referral. 

We find that the Christian ethos underpinning our values and work has created a culture of passion, commitment, care and humility in our team. People with whom we work are accepted for who they are, and not judged. This is part of what makes Cogwheel’s work unique and effective.

Stemming from the Christian ethos The Cogwheel Trust’s values are:-

Cogwheel affirms the value of every person: All people connected with Cogwheel are valued for who they are and encouraged, supported and challenged to become what they can be. Cogwheel is characterised by inclusiveness, diversity and mutual respect.

Cogwheel encourages personal development and positive change: We start with the belief that each person is unique and deserves to be respected and genuinely cared for as they are; and as someone who has a future to be discovered and developed.

Cogwheel values participation: All people have a valuable contribution to make in shaping services, helping others, building relationships and strengthening communities. Cogwheel works with the community, not just for the community, and seeks opportunities for all people to participate in its mission.


Our dedicated team of Trustees is headed by Jeremy Barnett. He is supported by David Farrer, Nigel Walter, Ruth Adams, Christopher Palmer and Lis Silver.


Our Patrons are the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely and Dr Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College.


Equal Opportunities Policy

At Cogwheel we aim to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. We are proud to provide a service to the diverse community in Cambridgeshire, and are committed to improving access to talking therapies to all those who need it.

We work hard to break down the barriers that can prevent people from accessing counselling, whether this be financial difficulties, isolation, or stigma.  However, we are always aware that more can be done to support people to find the right help.  We gather data anonymously about our clients and monitor this data carefully to see where we need to improve.  We welcome your feedback about anything we could do to make it easier to use our service.

Download our Equal Opportunities Policy here.

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.

Download ‘What Could Your Donation Do’

Money Matters

Download ‘Money Matters’
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