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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Barrow counselling service gets cash donation from Evening Mail Keswick to Barrow team

MORE than 300 families have benefited from a counselling service run by a Barrow charity.

BOOST Part of the Evening Mail’s 2013 Keswick to Barrow walking team presents a cheque for £300 to Family Matters charity members Sharon Harris, left of centre, and Jackie Drake, centre. They are, from left, editor Jonathan Lee, Karen Whittle and Suzanne Caveney JON GRANGER REF: 50056550B000

Counsellor and mum-of-four Sharon Harris, 44, of Newbarns, set up Families Matter in 2010.

The charity is one of three which will benefit from the Evening Mail Keswick to Barrow team who raised £900.

Families Matter was presented with a £300 cheque on Thursday night.

Miss Harris said: “We provide counselling services for children in our area. This can be done through schools, parents or self assessment.

“A lot of families who are in poverty have children who have seen and witnessed things at home which other children wouldn’t really see. We offer a counselling service for children, mums and dads.

“All of our work has a therapeutic side to it. By doing that we kind of empower parents to do things themselves.

“I think for me personally it’s about communication and supporting each other. Once people have shared their experiences and it is a different pair of eyes they are able to deal with things a bit better.”

Charities Every Action Has Consequences and the North West Air Ambulance will also receive £300 each. Miss Harris added: “Generally, families come to us for lots of reasons.”

Headteacher of Bram Longstaffe Nursery School and Childcare and gran-of-seven, Jackie Drake, 59, of Ulverston, was inspired to set up the charity after she received counsellingin her time of need.

She said: “I’ve seen first-hand how counselling can help. I had bereavement counselling after my 13-year-old grandson died in 2010 so I know it works.

“It empowers people’s wellbeing. We recognised there was a need for something like this and now we have worked with more than 300 families in two years.

“From my experience counselling can help. I have seen how effective counselling can be. It’s good to have someone who can really listen to you. Everybody today is in too much of a rush to think things through.”

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