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 2021, Cogwheel was contacted by over 500 people and provided 3,921 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 over 400 children and family sessions, which were much valued.

Counselling at Cogwheel can make a dramatic difference to people’s wellbeing. In our most recent survey, 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.

Our values

Cogwheel Counselling affirms the value of every person: all people connected with our charity are valued for who they are and encouraged, supported and challenged to become what they can be.

Cogwheel Counselling 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 Counselling values participation: all people have a valuable contribution to make in shaping services, helping others, building relationships and strengthening communities. We work with the community, not just for the community, and we seek opportunities for all people to participate in our mission.