Axminster charity's desperate appeal for help

PUBLISHED: 07:01 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 13 December 2018

Arc patron, Andrew Moulding, trustee Dr Barry McKenna and founder Catherine Davies. Picture: ARC

Arc patron, Andrew Moulding, trustee Dr Barry McKenna and founder Catherine Davies. Picture: ARC


Arc - some Herald 'angels' needed! Counselling service wants readers to help raise £30,000 over Christmas

An Axminster charity that provides vital counselling for people in crisis is in danger of folding.

In a desperate bid for survival, Arc is launching an urgent appeal to raise £30,000 by January.

For the past 12 years it has been providing Axminster Medical Practice with a free counselling service for patients in distress.

It helps people facing bereavement, family crisis or life changing or threatening diagnoses.

There is no waiting list and the number of sessions is based on patient need.

In contrast the NHS service has a waiting list of nine to 12 months and caps sessions at six.

Axminster GP Dr Barry McKenna, one of the founding trustees, said: “Remarkably, the charity has now far exceeded its original vision and has supported one in six of all patients registered at Axminster Medical Practice - on average, 200 families a year supported with the latest in trauma care and counselling.

“The service is led by two accredited psychotherapists who are able to offer a service far quicker and for much longer than the NHS.

“Each session costs Arc about £45, but patients are charged nothing. The charity is totally self-funded and gets no money from the NHS or Government.

“Arc desperately wants to be able to continue to offer a free service for everyone with no waiting times, but unless emergency funding can be found, the service will have to stop taking new patients immediately and will soon close when the therapy for current patients concludes.”

GPs at Axminster Medical Practice are demonstrating their belief in the work of Arc by committing £20,000 of funding - £10,000 now and a further £10,000 over the following two years.

Arc patron, Andrew Moulding is delighted that a number of business organisations, voluntary groups and individuals have offered support. But Arc has an immediate and long-term challenge to ensure that this unique and vital service can continue into the future.

The founder, Catherine Davies, said: “We need money now. In order to make your donations and save the service, please visit our JustGiving page at or drop a donation into the Friends of Arc shop on Chard Street or post it to Friends of Arc, Chard Rd, Axminster EX13 5DL.

“Please make cheques payable to ARC. Every donation, however small, will help Arc to help someone in crisis this Christmas and help ensure the longevity of the service.”

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