U&I Counselling is a voluntary service and the innovative vision of a group of local professional counsellors working to the BACP code of ethics*. The ‘Integrative Approach’ offers expertise in many counselling models to suit the individual; supporting client need at different points of therapy.

Information about the Closure of U&I Counselling CIC in July 2024

Dear All, We are incredibly proud of what U&I have offered to the community and how many lives have been touched by our work and I know, for all our team, it has been an absolute honour and privilege to work with the community and hold the trust of those who were often experiencing their darkest, most troubled times and feeling at their most helpless and vulnerable. When I trained to be a counsellor it was to help people and we have all found such reward in seeing the personal journey and growth of our clients. Over the years, incredibly, we have offered therapy to almost 10, 000 people including many Children and Young People… that is a lot of people.

Therefore it is with a particularly heavy heart it is time for me to retire and with that unfortunately U&I Counselling CIC will close. I have not made this decision lightly and it has been a struggle between my head and my heart. At 65 years old and a grandmother, now my own family need what’s left of me. My husband, son and daughter have been an incredible support with the commitment running the organisation has meant and the time it has taken me to do this. I feel blessed to now have two beautiful little grandchildren as well as lucky to still have elderly parents and I want to be more available for all my family to spend quality time with them all. The administration commitment for the whole organisation has necessitated many volunteer hours of work for me on top of counselling hours; meaning I have often worked seven days a week. I am so grateful to colleagues that have helped and supported me with all they can, where they can, over the years.

U&I has held a unique and valued place in our local community for nearly 14 years. The wonderful collection of therapists, past and present, have given of their expertise and experience very generously and I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work and time given by so many during this time. We have had some truly amazing therapists in our midst and many have stayed with us for a long time; some still staying on the outskirts even when they left by offering excellent external low cost supervision. It is impossible to express sufficiently the enormous gratitude I feel towards all the team and I feel privileged to have worked with so many incredibly dedicated people. Watching our students flourish, grow and develop in a safe enriching learning environment has been such a pleasure.

As an organisation, I feel proud and blessed by the quality and range of therapy we have been able to offer our clients and the incredible CPD training we have been able to offer our counsellors. Our wonderful trainers have offered a broad range of excellent quality training opportunities at low cost and we have been fortunate to gain free access from Shropshire Joint Training alongside this. We have been a valued and safe referral point for GP’s, Mental Health services, social services, police, housing organisations, schools and of course a huge number of self referring clients.The community we serve has expressed gratitude in so many ways and small pots of funding have been given to us by Oswestry Town Council, the Priscilla Hilton Jones Charitable Trust, the local Rotary Clubs and some generous individuals who have made regular personal bequests or personally been our voice in the community.

Whilst other volunteer organisations have closed and some have raised their minimum donation to almost private therapy cost we feel so proud that we have consistently maintained our low donation The Counselling Suite, 12 English Walls, Oswestry, Shropshire. Tel: 07530448000 E-mail: info@uandicounselling.org.uk or: uandicreative@icloud.com Website: www.uandicounselling.org.uk request in the true spirit of volunteering and in fourteen years have only raised it from £3 to £5. Sadly financially it is becoming a struggle to continue now. Funding is increasingly really hard to source and chasing funding is incredibly time consuming and much is inaccessible for us. To put charges up isn’t the solution and ethically doesn’t sit well with me. My husband and I have shouldered many costs during the years and this isn’t something we can continue to do in the economic climate.

All these factors have influenced the difficult decision to close.

The service won’t fade away in a phased ending and we will go out with strength and the full commitment and professionalism we have always offered and been known and trusted for by all.

Closure Plan

Working twoards a final close at end of July 2024

Client Work

For anyone currently in therapy your counsellor will already have discussed the ending of therapy sessions individually with you ahead of that closure at the end of July. All current clients will continue to be seen as normal we have plenty of time. We reassure you that we will be working with you towards ethical guidelines for closure. We will honour as many referrals as possible and will still be taking these in until early April. However sessions offered will be time limited. This isn’t a practice we have previously considered but in order to continue to offer therapy to as many people as we can we will be offering time the limit of our planned closure. Any new clients starting from March/April will be told their therapy will close at the end of July and we will be continuing to allocate new clients to counsellors until April/Early May as there is plenty of time to offer a good therapy experience. The timescale will allow us to see new clients on our list yet with a closure date of the end of July. Realistically any clients with continuing long term need will be referred to their GP and other services at this point.

External Agencies

Local GP’s and others commissioned services; We will only be taking on very limited numbers of new clients now and no Children and Young People.


Planned training and CPD for our therapists goes ahead as planned.

Further Questions:

Naturally your counsellor will discuss any individual questions you may have if you are a client in the service. Other services with any questions feel free to contact us on 07530448000

BACP and NCPS Membership

All our therapists are personal members of a professional body and insured individually and we are fully insured as an organisation. Our organisational membership of the BACP however will end at the end of April. This doesn’t affect our insurance or practice as all our therapists are individual members of a professional body.

A fond farewell...

For a few months it will be possible for any past client to contact me for any need regarding previous therapy notes on uandicreative@icloud.com . Please allow a period of at least a month in order for identification. You will need the name of your therapist so I can contact them and the year and approximate date of your sessions to aid identification as all notes are kept confidentially under client code. If you don’t have this information it will not be possible to locate them as all our therapist’s have always used independent and individual codes. In line with GPDR and insurance requirement any notes will be stored securely for the appropriate time, then shredded and burnt. If I were to die instructions will be in place to shred and burn everything. All referrals likewise will be destroyed as advised by our insurers and in terms of GPDR.

We wish all our clients, partners and the community a fond farewell and look forward to closing on a high. I say we, as I could not have created this dream of mine on my own and have to thank so many people for their time, kindness and professionalism which has helped earn the service the high reputation it has. A huge part of me feels so very sad …but I know this is something I must do. Together we have all created something very special.

Thank you to everyone involved in that, will never be enough…

With warmest regards, Wendy Hickson Team Leader/ Director

A safe space to explore your problems

U&I Counselling is an organisational member of the BACP . We fit the therapy around the client rather that the client into a therapy model which offers each client an individual personal experience that supports their need.

Welcome back to face to face counselling

As you may be aware, we have been providing counselling via telephone calls through the pandemic. This has been a difficult and challenging time for us all; clients and therapists alike and I am so grateful to the team for ensuring we could maintain our service in this way. We have shared in so many of our clients personal triumphs and sadness during this difficult time and have learnt so much about how to navigate these very unusual times.

Now it is time to welcome clients back to the rooms; hopefully long term this time. Sadly in the Autumn we had only just returned when we had to reverts to telephone call re another lockdown. We are excited to let you know that U&I Therapists will gradually be returning to face to face counselling through May and June. We have worked to make our environment as safe as we can by putting a range of Covid precautions in place.

We have rearranged our rooms where necessary for two metre distancing. Sadly also we have had to remove our cushions and soft furnishings and will not currently be able to offer drinks or biscuits. Hopefully these little luxuries will be back as soon as possible.
For full information about our precautions and pictures of the rooms please follow the links below:


To clarify we are not a crisis service. Although we have significant provision, due to high demand there is currently a waiting list for counselling with U&I. If you feel you need immediate help you may wish to contact your GP. Alternatively the Samaritans offers a 24hr contact number 116123.