2022/02/22 – CalMac Community Found

We are delighted to announce an award of £2000 from the CalMac Community Found to support services and activities supporting better mental health and improving wellbeing. This award will be used to enable CC:SL to provide counselling to people of Skye and Lochalsh whose mental health have been affected by Covid pandemic.

2021/12/21 – Funding and donations.

This year has been a challenge for all of us. We’ve found that the requests for help have risen, as more people have needed to talk about the challenges the year has brought. In some cases, existing mental health problems have been made more acute as a result of  isolation due to the covid virus. Counselling Care: Skye and Lochalsh has been there for the community though out this difficult time.

As a charity we rely on grants and donations to pay for the services we offer to adults, young people and school age children.  This year, our fundraising efforts have been restricted by covid, but examples of very successful fundraising efforts during the year were  “Winter Walks” where people committed to walk a certain distance between the New Year and Easter and the sponsored Munro mountain challenge by CSM & Co accountants. Both of which helped CCSL to raise a significant amount.

After many years of offering schools- based counselling, our contribution to the mental health of local children and young people has now been recognised by the Highland Council, who have awarded CCSL a contract to enable us to continue to provide counselling for children and young people over 10 years of age.

We were also pleased to have been able to also secure grant funding from NHS Highland from April 2022. This will contribute towards the cost of providing counselling to adults within Skye and Lochalsh.

Whilst this financial support from the Highland Council and the NHS is very welcome, we still require significant additional funding to ensure that we can continue to provide counselling services, open to all those who live in Skye and Lochalsh. The fund raising and donations that we’ve received this year have therefore been critical, in enabling us to continue to provide this valued and much needed service for adults, children and young people in our local community.

Every little helps to keep the service going. We therefore very much appreciate the individual donations and financial contributions that have helped to support our work and the efforts made by those who have taken part in fund-raising efforts on our behalf.  For example, those who participated in the Winter Walks and Munro challenges and the person who recently ran a marathon and raised over £200.

We will soon be starting a new winter fund raising challenge which will be posted here on our website and social media. So please do look out for details about how you too can support our work.

2021/04/01 Thinking Creatively – The Power of Play Therapy

Counselling Care: Skye and Lochalsh (CCSL) are delighted to have received a grant from Calmac to purchase “play therapy boxes” for primary schools across Skye. There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of local children and young people.  The pressures of lockdown, home schooling and not being able to see or meet up with family and friends, have left many local children feeling anxious, stressed and unable to cope with the daily challenges they face. Throughout this very difficult time CCSL has always been there, providing a much-needed professional local counselling service to all of the children and young people who needed our help.

Covid restrictions have meant some big changes in the ways in which the counsellors in our Children and Young Peoples service needed to work, however.  As a result, we have had to move a lot of our counselling sessions on-line, using video links to connect with our young clients. Much of the counselling support which we provide to primary school children involves “play therapy” in which drawing, making things from play dough and playing with dolls and other objects forms an important part of a counselling session. Before the pandemic, our counsellors took a box of these items along with them, when visiting schools.  The move to on-line counselling meant that this was no longer possible, so we had to think creatively about how we could still provide play-based therapy in these very different circumstances.  The solution, we thought, would be to provide each school with an easily sanitized “therapy play box” for young clients to use during video-based counselling sessions. To avoid any chance of covid contamination, it was clear that the items in the play boxes could also only ever be used by one child, meaning that these would also need to be regularly replaced.

As a small local charity with limited financial resources, the cost of providing the play boxes and replacement items to all of the local primary schools, clearly presented us with a financial challenge. We were therefore very happy, to learn our grant application to Calmac to purchase these had been successful. As a result, primary school children across the area will now still be able to continue to receive counselling sessions based on play therapy, the type of therapy that is the most appropriate to their age group.

Even when face to face counselling sessions in school can resume, which we hope will be in the near future, the play boxes will still provide a very important counselling resource, so thanks again Calmac for helping us to continue to help local children. As a result, primary school children across the area will continue to receive the type of professional counselling support they most need to improve their mental health and well-being and to enable them to cope better with the many challenges that the post-lockdown era is also likely to present.

Play Therapy Box