Counsellors share experiences at conference

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PUBLIC sector cuts, affordable housing and alcohol and drug addiction were among the big issues addressed at a conference for Edinburgh’s counselling professionals last week.

More than 100 officials attended the Easter Road stadium conference, organised by the Church of Scotland’s Simpson House counselling service, to speak of their experiences and share best practice in helping some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Chair Glenn Liddall, from Simpson House, said: “It is a nervous time for the voluntary sector with funding cuts, and charities need to be creative and innovative not just to survive, but to take things forward.

“At Simpson House we don’t just want to make people’s lives a little bit better, we want to transform them.

“The conference brought some of the city’s best counselling organisations together and everyone went away with plenty to think about as we make our services fit for purpose in the current financial climate.”

Speakers included Edinburgh City Council’s newest member, Alasdair Rankin, who spoke about attempts to reduce unintentional homelessness by 2012, and counsellors from the Make It Happen scheme in Craigmillar, which has reduced youth reoffending in the area by 74 per cent.

Dr Kate Anthony, who takes online and face to face sessions, commended social media opportunities for therapists.