Solicitors’ Sponsored Walk Raises £15,000 for Riverside Counselling

Against the elements, over 100 employees from Field Seymour Parkes solicitors in Reading completed walks to work from Goring (10 miles) and Shillingford (20 miles) to Reading on 12 May and raised £15,150,14 for local mental health charity, Riverside Counselling.

Partners, Simon Roberts and Marcus Francis (pictured above) presented the cheque to Riverside Counselling, Clinical Lead, Hilary Arthur on Monday this week at Hurley House Hotel at a thank you evening for supporters.

Simon said, “We set off in dry weather but about 3pm the heavens opened and everybody was soaked to the skin.  We decided to support Riverside because I have a personal family experience of the importance of psychological health.  Mental health is an underfunded health provision and not many people can afford a series of private sessions at £50 each.  There’s an increasing awareness of mental health and we support local charities and this fitted the bill.  The idea of the walk was Marcus’.  Marcus added, “It was a honour and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it for the incredible work that this fantastic charities does.”

Before the cheque was presented Hilary spoke about the importance of the work that Riverside Counselling does through its 40 trained practitioner volunteer counsellors.  Hilary said, “We’re meeting the every growing demand at nine different Henley and surrounding area locations.  We currently offer about 100 sessions a week.  We’re able to offer open ended sessions, unlike GP counselling that is open to everyone but generally only last 6 weeks which is often not enough for many and the waiting list for more complex cases can be up to 18 months.”

Hilary then went on to talk about The Space, the counselling service which was started in June 2015 for 11-25 year olds and also supports parents too.  Hilary commented, “75% of mental illness starts in adolescence and 55% of 16-25 year olds who have a mental health problem are not receiving mental health support.  We get in there early to support people going forward.”

Amanda Collins who joined the charity at the start of the year to do trust and grant applications.  Amanda announced “We’ve had recent success with a donation from the Shanley Foundation for The Space for £10,000, we’ve been selected for the Tesco Community blue token scheme and one of the chosen charities at Phyllis Court Club this year.”

Emma Lerche-Thomsen who organised the event said, “Thank you to everyone for coming and supporting Riverside.  I’d like to thank Hurley House for hosting this evening’s thank you evening.”

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