Community Supports Mental Health Awareness Week

Riverside Counselling Service is highlighting the importance of looking after our wellbeing with events and activities to promote Mental Health Awareness Week which runs next week from the 9-15 May.

The charity is based in Henley and offers counselling support to adults and young people from the age of 12 years. Over the past year they have the highest ever number of enquires with 346 adults and 128 young people contacting the service.

The week has begun with a £10,000 grant donation from The Williams Gray Foundation, a local charity launched by Cliff & Nicki Williams Gray with their two daughters Victoria and Georgina. Last year they arranged and hosted a music festival at their home in Russell’s Water and with the help of friends and neighbours managed to raise more than £75,000. The funds were distributed in the form of charitable grants to national, local and overseas projects.

‘Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity for Riverside to raise awareness of mental health issues, the work of the charity and to raise much needed funds’ said Amanda Collins, Fundraising Manager. ‘With a fundraising target of over £120,000 this year we are delighted that the community is really supporting our efforts and we are incredibly grateful’

Events begin with a ‘Sunset Supper’ on The Terrace (Formerly the Red Lion Lawn) where guests can enjoy freshly cooked paella, welcome drinks, and live music. The evening is being sponsored by KJ Smiths Solicitor and tickets are available at ‘The weather forecast for next week is looking warm and sunny so it will be a lovely evening on the Terrace next to the river. We are looking forward to welcoming new and existing supporters’ said Amanda.

Fitness Space and the Henley Yoga Studio are running classes through the week in aid of the charity. Activities include BoxFit, Zumba, Qi Qong and Thai Chai. ‘The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. These classes give people the opportunities to come together with others and maybe try something new,’ said Amanda. All proceeds from the classes will be donated to the charity. Places can be booked through Fitness Spaces Eventbrite page or directly with Steve at The Henley Yoga Studio on 0770945416.

Hobbs of Henley and Fomo Mortgages with be hosting The Launch Party on the New Orleans on 19th May. For a donation to the charity guests can enjoy a welcome drink of Hobbs Gin, canapes and live music from Eight Ray Music. Tickets available through Eventbrite at

Hilary Arthur, the Director and Clinical Lead said: “Post pandemic we are seeing more people with an array of mental health disorders, particularly those effected by isolation and loneliness. The current economic climate and general uncertainty is likely to have a further impact on people’s mental health”

‘We know that counselling can change lives. During Mental Health week we want to raise awareness of our service so that those struggling with mental health difficulties know that we are here to support them but to continue to enable to make the service accessible we need the support of the community to help fund bursary places for those most in need.’

Riverside will also be helping to support the Ukrainian families and their hosts moving to the area with plans to offer counselling and a support group.

To find out more about Riverside visit their website at or to support mental Health Awareness Week please go to