A charity that provides counselling to bereaved children across Brentwood and Havering has appealed to the businesses community for support at an event to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
HBBS Counselling which is also known as Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service, is seeking partnerships with local businesses to help fund its counselling programmes for children in primary and secondary schools going forward.
To date the #4Me Primary Children’s Bereavement Service has largely been funded each year through a grant from BBC Children In Need but that support is scheduled to end this year.
In total 1,109 counselling sessions have been delivered to primary and secondary school children in Brentwood and Havering over the past year by the charity, each one to help a young person who has lost a parent or relative.
The plea to businesses was made during a fundraising event at Ingatestone Hall on July 5 to mark the 30th anniversary of the charity and its tenth year offering specific counselling to children.
During the evening the charity was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), which is the highest accolade afforded to voluntary organisations and equivalent in status to an MBE.
Sue Newth-Gibbs, Chair of Trustees at HBBS Counselling described the award as the “golden feather in the cap” for the charity, which also offers counselling for adults.
She said: “We were one of only nine voluntary organisations in Essex to receive the QAVS, it is a great honour and testimony to the hours of selfless work volunteers have given to our charity over 30 years.
“It is also recognition of the many thousands of adults and children we have been able to support through the grieving process since we began in 1989 and the demand for our services is now higher than ever so our work must continue far into the future.
“But as a charity, of course, we must find the funds to pay for it.”
Mrs Newth-Gibbs has volunteered at HBBS for 28 years.
She added: “Securing funding to pay for the professional counselling we offer children gets more difficult every year and we continue to work harder and harder to help as many young people who have lost a loved one as we can, it is vital for their lives.
“That is why we are seeking partnerships with businesses, we want to work with them, to associate them with the work that we do and the young people we help and we would love to be the ‘Charity of the Year’ for a number of businesses across our community.
“Working together we can continue to make a difference to so many young peoples’ lives., we can all make a difference together.”
Opportunities for businesses with HBBS Counselling include substantial presence at events, inclusion on printed materials, recognition on the charity’s social media pages and coverage on the its website.
Some 90 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration and the QAVS was presented by Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex Vincent Thompson who was joined by distinguished guests including Lord Petre, the Mayor of Brentwood Cllr Keith Parker, the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Michael Deon Burton, the Vice Chairman of Essex County Council Cllr Eddie Johnson and Dennis Rensch Deputy Lieutenant of Essex.
The event had raised £5,300, which equates to specialist counselling for another ten children at HBBS counselling.
If you own or work for a business who would be interested in working with HBBS Counselling contact [email protected]