Cogwheel Today

Cogwheel plays an important part in the provision of mental health support in the charitable sector in Cambridge and in the county. The charity operates from its main centre in leased premises in Norfolk Street in Cambridge and has two satellite locations in Sawston and Ely.

In 2019, Cogwheel was contacted by over 600 people and provided 4,782 affordable assessments and sessions for adults who would be economically excluded from accessing private counselling, which can cost upwards of £50/£60 per session. Nearly half of Cogwheel’s clients pay the minimum contribution, which is now £20 per session. In addition, Cogwheel provided nearly 100 children and family sessions, which were much valued.

Counselling at Cogwheel can make a dramatic difference to people’s wellbeing. From client feedback in 2019, at the start of counselling 46% of people were severely or moderately severely distressed, while by the end of their counselling only 12% of people were in these categories.

Find out more about Cogwheel here.

Counselling sessions are provided by a team of about 40 counsellors who are either fully qualified or in the very final stages of their training and are managed by Cogwheel’s Head of Counselling.

The charity celebrated its 30th anniversary in the summer of 2018 and just over 18 months later, in March 2020, had to transform its operation on the introduction of the Covid-19 lockdown. Overnight, in-person counselling stopped and had to be replaced by online counselling via Zoom. It was only through the hard work and dedication of the whole Cogwheel team that the transition could be completed in just over two weeks.

Cogwheel receives no NHS funding. Despite that, 38% of people contacted us on the recommendation of their GP, up from 31% the previous year. 22% of people were directed to us by mental health support services. These ranged from the 111 Helpline to specialist services like Petals and Choices.

The work of Cogwheel Counselling is dependent on both the organisations, trusts and individuals who support us financially and client contributions for sessions.

Cogwheel has been working to develop a sustainable funding approach, so we’re not reliant on one source of funding. This is very important to us as it means we can remain entirely independent while we to continue to provide affordable counselling for those financially disadvantaged.

This broad range of income streams allows us to continue operating as a charity as it has done since 1988.