BBC Children in Need grant funds counselling sessions for Slough students

A £66,765 grant from Children in Need is funding counselling sessions at three Slough schools.

The money will enable the Number 22 charity to send its qualified counsellors into St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Eden Girls’ School and Grove Academy over the next three years.

Young people will have the chance to share their thoughts safely and confidentially on any issue such as depression, relationship problems or stress and anxiety.

Sarah Luke, Number 22’s service manager for Slough, said: “Young people have a lot to deal with and a lot of pressure on them.

“There’s a lot of anxiety at the moment with what’s happening with COVID-19 and that uncertainty and pressure at home.”

Schools were invited to apply for the charity’s free service with counsellors being allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Each counsellor will spend five hours a week at their allocated school, with pupils offered up to 10 one-on-one sessions.

It is anticipated the scheme will help more than 500 young people.

Sarah added: “I definitely think with more celebrities talking about their own mental health, there’s a lot more people in society talking about their own mental health problems and where you can seek support.

“I was quite amazed how much of an impact we can have very quickly with a lump sum of money from Children in Need.”

Ciran Stapleton, headteacher at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, said: “We are delighted that Number 22 counselling service will be providing support to our students here at St Joseph's.

“We feel it will have a big impact on the emotional health and wellbeing throughout the school especially for our more vulnerable students.

“As a school we feel it is important that our students feel loved and cared for and are provided support for all aspects of their lives.

“Our hope is that by working with Number 22 we will be able to provide more specialist help for those students who really need it.”

Number 22 offers counselling services to anyone aged over 11 but sessions are currently being held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visit for further details.

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