St Germain's Emotional Wellbeing Service

by St Germain's Emotional Wellbeing Service in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Total raised £15,525

raised so far

+ est. £2145.00 Gift Aid



Help save our Wellbeing Service! We are raising money to keep open a vital support service to help those struggling with their mental health

by St Germain's Emotional Wellbeing Service in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 7th January 2022 we'd raised £15,425 with 80 supporters in 49 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

This would fund the service to run for an additional two months, whilst we establish our long-term funding strategy.

Our Journey

In May 2020 St Germain’s Church began piloting a free Emotional Wellbeing Service as part of its COVID-19 response. Since then it has conducted more than 800 sessions, supporting more than 300 service users. Whilst the service continues to help people recover and demand for it is still increasing, our pilot funding has run out and we are now faced with the threat of closure. Can you help us save this vital service?

During the first lockdown St Germain’s emergency Food Hub was encountering hundreds of people every week, many of whom were really struggling with their mental health. To address this need, we launched the Emotional Wellbeing Service to deliver one-to-one, CBT-based guided self-help support to people suffering from common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The service has been met with demand that we never could have imagined.

Our core offer consists of short courses of face-to-face and telephone support that equip people with the skills and strategies they need to overcome their difficulties. Our networking with other services has also enabled us to launch a twice-weekly Wellbeing Drop-In, where local people can access practical information, advice and guidance as well as emotional support. The people we meet at the drop-in and the referrals we receive from GP-based social prescribers (about 30 per month) have highlighted a huge gap in provision. Some service users are struggling but aren't offered secondary services, others feel intimated by clinical settings, still others are severely impacted by emerging life stressors yet face months-long waiting lists. We support these people.

The majority of our service users are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, and more than a quarter of them are experiencing thoughts of suicide. By providing a fast response that supports people at their time of need, we are able to prevent further escalation, mitigate suicide risk and work collaboratively to help them see a better future.

We use the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale to measure our impact: our dataset shows that more than 85% of service users who completed a course of one-to-one support experienced a statistically significant improvement in their mental wellbeing, even in the space of four sessions.

Can You Give Someone Hope This Christmas?

It will cost us £23,000 to keep the service open until the end of April 2022, when our new long-term strategy for taking us from a pilot project to a sustainable service will be up-and-running. We have secured £8,000 of this so far, but now we need help to bridge the gap and raise £15,000 to keep our service open.

Here is a guide to how your donations will help us cover our costs:

£5 – buys enough self-help guides to support 10 people
£15 – buys two sessions worth of drop-in support
£25 – buys a therapy session for a service user
£100 – buys a course of 4 therapy sessions
£250 – buys 10 therapy sessions
£500 – buys our room hire for a month

This Christmas we want to tell people who will be waiting for support that the service will remain open in the New Year. You can give someone hope this Christmas by making a donation (no minimum!) to help us keep this vital work going!

Feedback From Service Users

When people finish accessing our one-to-one support they have an opportunity to share feedback on their experience. Here are some of the things they said:

"I have had counselling sessions in the past but never anything as helpful as these… After the first session I could look at things differently and feel better about myself… I feel so much better in myself and have the resources to refer to if and when I need them… I can't praise this service enough!" - Female, 57

"John taught me new things about how to view and deal with my negative thoughts and my social anxieties. I have taken small positive steps, which hasn't happened in a long time… lots of great advice. I feel I’m a better person after my sessions with John." - Male, 53

"My counsellor (Shanna), [was] friendly, welcoming, took the time to get to know me, so she could understand my emotional and physical issues and pass on information if needed." - Female

"John was fantastic. Really calm and patient with me. He has given me tools to keep practicing when my anxiety and bad thoughts are taking over." - Female, 30 

"I could talk without feeling judged. I learned new useful techniques to help with my anxiety." - Female, 46 

"I liked how Shanna was down to earth and informal… I felt truly listened to." - Female, 39

"I think John is an excellent counsellor and therapist. He is very empathetic and understanding and offered me practical solutions for my problems. I also liked that it was very quick to get an appointment and being free is very good too." - Male, 39 

"Friendly, supportive, helpful and understanding my problems. Encouraging. Could not do better!" - Female, 70 

"John was affirming in his manner which made me feel safe to explore problematic cycles of thought.  He was a good listener and then offered non-judgemental observations and practical suggestions which I felt were well-tailored to my needs. This style of counselling made me feel empowered that I can reframe my feelings when I need to. This is a massive boost to my confidence in my current challenging family circumstances." - Female, 61

"The therapist was empathic and non-judgemental and had great knowledge and skills to cope with my issues."  - Female, 35

"The level of compassionate listening was admirable, and I was given very practical tools and pathways to help me manage my anxiety and low moods." - Female, 34

Feedback From Referral Agents

We receive referrals from GP-based social prescribers and other community services across Birmingham. Here is a sample of their feedback:

"I have found St Germain’s Emotional Wellbeing Service to be outstanding in its delivery of support for people with low level emotional and mental health issues. […]  The Social Prescribing Team from People health Partnership have referred over 50 patients between us, and have not received any negative feedback from our patients about St Germain’s.

I have received several updates from my patients to say what a special service St Germain’s is and they now feel they can accept and deal with the issues they are facing.

During the Pandemic I can only describe St Germain’s Service as epic... St Germain’s continued to maintain the service whilst most other services shutdown, or waiting lists were lengthy" - Kathleen Richards, Social Prescribing Link Worker, The People’s Health Partnership

"I referred many […] clients to St Germain’s, for the simple fact, that their approach to helping people with the likes of depression and anxiety, was positive and reassuring, and their response was always quicker than other organisations with long waiting lists.

...clients who had received support from St Germain’s... found the CBT approach far more helpful than just talking about their worries and concerns over and over. One lady told me that she felt she had taken control of her life again and had started enjoying [things] she hadn’t done for many months." - Glenn Rogers, Gateway Family Services

"…my patients have received helpful CBT and counselling for anxiety, stress, depression, ways of coping with everyday difficulties. Patient feedback has been positive, saying they are more helpful than other counselling services which is the reason I regularly refer patients to St. Germain’s" - John Walker, Social Prescribing Link Worker, The People’s Health Partnership

"St Germain's Wellbeing Service has been a lifeline throughout and beyond the pandemic. They provided a very efficient and much needed service to my patients. Their contact and response time was next to perfect… [they were] always my first point of contact when referring patients. 

…There are not many organisations/services similar to St Germain's available at the moment that provide a much-needed service." - Tina Lakeru, Wellbeing Course Leader, Gateway Family Services 

"So frequently the Link Workers say how they refer patients to St Germain’s and what an essential piece of the jigsaw puzzle you are in terms of the support that is provided […] the loss of your service would create a gap we can ill afford." - Kathleen Hewitt, CEO Gateway Family Services

"Since using the service I have received numerous positive feedback from social prescribing patients. It is often mentioned that the team is welcoming and friendly and provide excellent support. Moreover, many of the patients I refer have had negative experiences with previous talking therapy providers and are thoroughly surprised how much they benefit from the sessions." - Dean Suleyman, Social Prescribing Link Worker, Gateway Family Services


This project offered rewards

£25 or more

Give Someone a Therapeutic Support Session

Provides someone with one 50 minute guided self-help session to help them learn skills and strategies to overcome their mental health problems. It covers the session and the admin time supporting it - e.g. writing case notes, sharing resources, making referrals etc. You won’t know who will receive the session, but we hope it’s reassuring knowing what your gift enables us to provide and we will send you a postcard and e-card to say thank you.

£5 or more

Give Enough Self-Help Guides to Support 10 People

This pledge covers the cost of sharing self-help resources with 10 people. Self-help guides help people understand their problems better and give them exercises that develop their coping skills - they are an essential component in our support. Whilst we can't offer a physical reward in exchange - we will send you an e-card to say thank you and remind you of what your gift enables us to provide.

£15 or more

Give 2 Sessions Worth of Drop-In Support

This purchase enables us to provide drop-in conversations with our team to people that are in need of practical and emotional support. They provide a nonjudgemental listening ear and may include support with welfare or housing-related issues. Whilst you won't know who will receive the sessions, we hope it is reassuring to know what your gift enables us to provide to someone and we will send you an e-card to say thank you.

£100 or more

Give Course of 4 Therapeutic Support Sessions

Provides someone with a full course of guided self-help sessions to help them learn skills and strategies to overcome mental health problems. It covers the sessions and additional admin time - e.g. writing case notes, sharing resources, making referrals etc. You won’t know who will receive the sessions, but we hope it’s reassuring knowing what your gift enables us to provide and we will send you a postcard and e-card to say thank you.

£250 or more

Give 10 x Therapeutic Support Sessions

Provides 2.5 full courses of guided self-help sessions to several people to give them skills and strategies to overcome their mental health problems. It covers the sessions themselves plus admin time - e.g. writing case notes, sharing resources, making referrals etc. You won’t know who will receive the sessions, but we hope it’s reassuring knowing what your gift enables us to provide and we will send you a postcard and e-card to say thank you.

£500 or more

Pay Our Room Hire for a Month

We currently deliver about half of our support sessions face-to-face. This gift enables us cover the cost of our room hire for a month, including our office space. With this pledge we'll send you an e-card and a postcard to remind you what your gift enables us to provide.

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