Member Article

Grand opening day celebrates Wellspring's brand-new Starbeck Home

The new Starbeck home of Wellspring Therapy & Training, the Harrogate-based counselling and training centre, has been officially opened by the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds.

The mental health charity has raised £300,000 to enable it to move into new premises to cope with the growing demand for its services.

The grand opening day was attended by hundreds of friends and supporters of this popular charity, who were given tours of the new facilities, which include play therapy rooms, training spaces and rooms for new therapies.

Wellspring has relocated from Prospect Road, Starbeck, to nearby St Andrew’s Vicarage at 78 High Street, now renamed Wellspring House, which has been bought by the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

The charity is leasing the vicarage and has moved in after an extensive refurbishment, undertaken by both professional contractors and enthusiastic Wellspring volunteers.

The Rt Rev Nick Baines, who is Wellspring’s patron, blessed the building and unveiled a commemorative plaque, commenting: “For many people with mental health issues, timely access to good quality talking therapy is essential. And at a time when access to that provision is at a premium, charities like Wellspring provide a crucial service.

“This is a place of genuine healing because it creates a space in which people can discover that they are loved and that they are known, and that they don’t have to hide. And that is an enormous gift. It’s an honour to be a patron of Wellspring and I am delighted to officially open this superb charity’s magnificent new home.”

Wellspring’s executive director, Emily Fullarton, said: “This is just the start - we’ve got many dreams and plans for this building. First of all, we want to do more of what we already do because we know it works and we know it’s what our community needs - so we want to deliver more counselling, we want to deliver more training, and we are open to having more volunteers.

“But as well as that, we want to create new services, we want to respond to the needs that we see.”

Speaking about Wellspring’s new play therapy rooms, Emily said: “We know statistics say that 75 per cent of adult mental health issues start in childhood, and that early intervention is crucial to stop those issues being taken into adulthood. We’re open to seeing our training room being used really regularly too, because we want to see our local churches, our local businesses, be better equipped to look after the mentally unwell.

“Wellspring has always been a charity of the gaps - seeking to serve the unmet need that we see in our community and respond creatively to it.”

Other speakers included Wallace Sampson, the chief executive of Harrogate Borough Council, Nigel McClea, the chairman of Wellspring’s Building sub-committee and Roger Elliott, chairman of Wellspring’s Trustees.

Nigel McClea explained: “These are exciting and rewarding times for everyone associated with our charity. We have been humbled by the generosity of so many people and organisations, which has helped us to reach our target of £300,000 within two years. The vicarage has been transformed into a first-class training and counselling centre.

“At the same time, we are so delighted by the wholehearted support shown by Bishop of Leeds. As one of the very senior members of the Church of England, with so many demands on his time, his support is a real endorsement of what we are trying to achieve.”

Mr McClea also thanked the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, architect Iain Cant, interior designer Elaine Rodgers, Daniel Rigg of leading Yorkshire property consultancy Knight Frank and Richard Wheeldon of Berwins Solicitors for their generosity and support.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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