Portfolio Awards: The Sunderland firm which is looking to the future with positivity

A Sunderland company is making an impact on Wearside by promoting positive mental health.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 15:11 pm
Breakfree Counselling Services becomes one of the first entries in this year's Portfolio Awards.

Breakfree Counselling Services was only set up a year ago by directors Tracy Woodhouse and Helen Lumley.

But the former university student pals are already taking on a second office to cope with their ambitious plans for the future.

Breakfree, based at Sunderland BIC, promotes positive mental health initiatives across Sunderland and the North East. Tracy said: “We want positive mental health to be seen as important as physical health.”

Tracy Woodhouse and Helen Lumley from Breakfree Counselling Services.

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She added: “Our youngest client is five and our oldest is 83.”

“We’re working on several school contracts to provide group and individual counselling as we believe early intervention is so important.”

Breakfree becomes one of the first nominations in this year’s Portfolio Awards.

Tracy said: “We set up our service after graduating together from Sunderland University. We made the decision to go into business together after creating a fictitious agency called Breakfree Counselling for a university project.”

Winning an award would be validation of the work that Breakfree is doing, said Tracy.

The company becomes one of the first to enter this year’s awards. We want many more.

There are plenty of well known categories from previous years such as small, medium and large business of the year, as well as exporter of the year.

Or you might want to enter sections such as apprentice of the year, technology of the year or best green business.

Whatever your choice, make sure you get those entries in so that we can honour the very best that Wearside has to offer.

Yet again, we have fantastic backers on board to help make the awards a success.

Sunderland City Council is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

It is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award.

Other sponsors are Gentoo, BIC, Northern Rail, Stagecoach, The Bid, SAFC, Bradley Hall, Sunderland College and the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. We thank them all for their invaluable support.

There’s plenty of time to enter before the closing date for nominations on September 27. Then, the judges face the unenviable task of trying to whittle down the field into a shortlist.

All of the chosen finalists will get to attend the grand finale. We will reveal the winners at a glittering evening of celebration on Thursday, November 7 at the Stadium of Light.

So come on, let’s get the process rolling by finding those businesses worthy of consideration.

To nominate, email lynn.wild@jpimedia.co.uk.