A MOTHER and daughter team are behind a new counselling service.
Frances Slade and Rachel Hirst launched The Living Way as they felt there was a need for affordable, accessible counselling in Sunderland.
From their base in Monkwearmouth, the pair hope to help adults deal with everything from unemployment to relationship breakdowns.
People will be asked to make a donation based on what they can afford.
Frances, a major in the Salvation Army, has more than 30 years experience and training in counselling.
Hendon mother-of-two Rachel, 30, completed a diploma in counselling at the University of Sunderland.
She will start as a trainee at the service, which was set up with funding from grant-giver Awards for All.
The former nursery nurse decided to go back to work after bringing up sons aged six and eight.
“I always had a heart for helping people who were hurting,” she said.
“I can speak first-hand of the benefits of counselling as I have received some myself, but also I know what it is like to struggle financially.”
Also joining the team is University of Sunderland graduate Andy Wright, from South Hetton.
The 46-year-old has already worked as student counsellor at Durham University, and volunteered at North East Counselling Services.
Although the three are all Christians, they will offer a friendly ear to people of all backgrounds, as well as faith-based counselling.
The service, based in North Sands Business Centre, welcomes self-referrals but also hope to forge links with local GPs.
Frances added: “Anyone who wants to access the service will be offered a friendly, professional service.”
Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Iain Kay will officially open the counselling service, at a launch event on January 21.
For more information, call 0773 863 4877 or 0751 149 5057, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.livingwaycounselling.co.uk.