Worthing Counselling Centre has marked the first anniversary of its rebrand by unveiling a stained glass window on Worthing Pier.
Worthing mayor and mayoress Paul and Sandra Baker joined counsellors, supervisors, trustees and friends of the centre for the official ceremony on Saturday.
The unveiling was also attended by Worthing borough councillor Elizabeth Sparkes, who has supported the charity in its work.
Celebrations continued at an ‘en of an era’ afternoon tea at the Pavilion Café and Bar, where the contributions of Marjorie Dale, head of counselling for more than 30 years, and Marilyn West, administrator for more than 20 years, were marked on their retirements.
The event also marked the handover by Anna Hayward, who has been praised as a ‘most effective’ head of centre, to Emma Castledine, and it was an opportunity to say thank you to all the counsellors and trustees for their continued voluntary contribution.
For 35 years, the charity has provided weekly counselling for individuals and couples seeking support for emotional difficulties
Anna said: “People come to counselling for many reasons. It could be that significant life changes or events, such as bereavement, trauma or work or relationship difficulties prompt a sense of being unable to cope.
“Sometimes it is feelings of anger, low self-esteem or panic attacks or just simply knowing that things aren’t right, or when even small decisions seem impossible. No two people are the same.”
It is estimated the centre, formerly known as Offington Counselling Service, has helped well in excess of 5,000 people over the years.
Chris Corin, chairman of trustees, said: “It was founded 35 years ago as a charity to provide counselling to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
“We have 20 counsellors at the centre, all of whom are fully qualified or trainees nearing qualification. All give time voluntarily. This is part of what makes us unique – we do this work because we care and want to make a difference.
“If you think counselling could be appropriate for you, our website www.worthingcounsellingcentre.org has more details, or call 01903 212275.
“We offer fast access counselling for those who do not want to wait and financially supported counselling if cost could be a barrier.”
The charity launched with a new identity to raise awareness of its scale and the support it provides. Its stained glass window was made by Siobhan Jones and funded by Sussex Masonic Charities, which was represented on the day by Grahame Carr.