External Evaluation of Reaching Out Community Counselling Service

This report presents the findings of an independent final evaluation of the Reaching Out Counselling and Psychotherapy Project delivered by Barca-Leeds.

The project was established in January 2016 with funding from the Big Lottery (BLF).

It is in its third and final year and this phase will conclude in January 2019 with the work is currently in transition at present and awaiting the outcome of a further funding application in the new year.

Thanks to the dedicated volunteer and staff team the work has been highly successful with the key findings below from the main report.

Reaching Out achieved its aims and outcomes

  • The service is described as life changing and life-saving by service users
  • The service continues to be highly needed and relevant
  • The service is trusted and has a wide base of referral agencies
  • It accepts people who cannot access IAPT services (a statutory MH counselling service)
  • 94% of users say it helped them meet their aims
  • Main challenge is long waiting times for service and assessment practice
  • Service seen to be effective and cost efficient
  • The service was identified as being empathetic and challenging by recipients which they said was a strength “Here it’s challenging – you explore the roots of problems”
  • It helps individuals and families to build and rebuild relationships
  • It helps people understand their mental health and develop coping strategies
  • It enables people to talk, share and listen
  • It helps people to build or re-build confidence and self-esteem
  • It helps people feel physically better and be more active
  • It gives something positive for people to look forward to
  • It helps people to build or re-build support networks and reduces loneliness
  • It links people into other networks and services

Download report: reaching out final evaluation report.