The owner of The Living Way, a counselling start-up company based at our North Sands business centre in Sunderland, was interviewed on BBC radio Newcastle yesterday, talking about the why she set up the service and what she hopes to achieve.
Visit the BBC website to hear the interview in full – it’s one hour and 16 minutes in and is available until Tuesday 5 February 2013.
Founded by Rachel Hirst with the help of her mother, Frances Slade, The Living Way is a not-for-profit counselling service that aims to help people who would benefit from counselling, but who would struggle to pay for it privately.
As a full-time mum of two, the idea came to Rachel when she was considering going back to work (having previously been a nursery nurse). After doing some research, she found that the existing counselling services available were either over-subscribed or private and therefore too expensive for many people to consider using.
Rachel said, “The vision was to offer a service that is affordable and accessible to all.” This means that they don’t have a set charge for their services, but work based on what each individual can afford to pay for the sessions.
“Our slogan is a place of hope and healing, where people can actually come and find a way to live a life rather than live an existence” explained Rachel.
Frances, a major in the Salvation Army, with more than 30 years’ experience in counselling, said North Sands was the ideal location for their new venture.
“We had looked at a few premises, but were so impressed with the welcome we received at Bizspace,” she said.
“It was really important for us to find somewhere that our clients would feel comfortable when they walked in and we instantly got that feeling at North Sands.”