Lack of funding sees Portsmouth Counselling Service close its doors

Portsmouth Counselling Service's Regina Zander Clark in a session
Portsmouth Counselling Service's Regina Zander Clark in a session
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A CHARITY that offers counselling services is closing its doors after its funding ran out.

Portsmouth Counselling Service, which helps vulnerable people in the city, had been given a grant by Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group after Portsmouth City Council withdrew its funding.

The CCG gave the charity £60,000 to give it time to find alternative funds.

But after supporting the service for two years, the CCG has decided not provide another grant.

The charity has now launched a petition to keep the service available.

Dr Simon Wernick, chairman of trustees at the charity, said: ‘The trustees fully understand the funding pressures on the CCG but this is a very small amount in relation to the CCG’s annual expenditure.

‘The loss of the service will be considerable.’

Unless Portsmouth Counselling Service can find immediate funding, it will close in December after 23 years.

Suzannah Rosenberg, director of quality for Portsmouth CCG, said: ‘Although the NHS locally has never formally commissioned services from Portsmouth Counselling Services, in the past two years we have been pleased to be able to provide two one-off grants to support its work.

‘Our CCG invests a very large amount of money into counselling services and will continue to do so.

‘We are currently spending approximately £850,000 a year on counselling services to give support to 3,500 people across the city.

‘The service is free of charge and people usually receive help within a few weeks.’

To sign the petition visit bit.ly/2eIXyxl