Wellspring was established in 2003, by two counsellors (Elaine & Steve), who discovered that they had the same vision to support vulnerable people in North Yorkshire through counselling.
As Christians, they both felt a strong sense from God that they were to establish a new charity that would:
- Provide affordable counselling for the community, according to means, therefore removing any financial barriers.
- Provide both short and long-term counselling, enabling people to reach a place of wholeness before ending.
- Provide a spiritual element to the counselling for those who request it.
Elaine and Steve started in faith and prayer with the encouragement and support of many praying and giving friends. By October 2003 they had chosen a name, designed a logo, become a company limited by guarantee and a charity with 6 trustees. Initially they were welcomed into the Hope Centre in Harrogate Town and began to see clients there and build the team; however, they soon needed to find larger premises.
The next major step of faith was to put in an offer (as a sealed bid) on the first premises which could provide 3 counselling rooms, an office, and a welcome area. Despite having little money in the bank, no guaranteed income, and no mortgage the trustees made an offer – it felt “risky” – and amazingly it was accepted.
God then provided in many ways through many people, allowing for the building to be refurbished over the next year as provision came in. Wellspring’s centre was opened with great joy in 2005 at 2 Prospect Road, Starbeck.
Wellspring continued to grow and develop, responding to the need of the community. This growth led to the development of youth and training services, in addition to adult counselling. By 2013 the charity had 5 staff and around 15 volunteers offering counselling and training to schools, businesses and the local community. In 2015 Elaine, as founding director retired, and Emily took on the role. With a growing volunteer team and demand on the service it was decided a new, bigger building was needed. At the end of 2016, Wellspring was bought a building at 78 High Street, Starbeck by the Liz & Terry Bramall Foundation. God’s provision and hard work from the team saw over £250k raised to renovate this building into a counselling and training centre for children, young people and adults. The staff team, which has steadily grown to 11 part time members since 2015 moved into this building on 13th August. The charity now has over 35 volunteers and 8 trustees.
In March 2017, Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, became Wellspring’s sole patron: “For many people with mental health issues, timely access to good quality talking therapy is essential. And at a time when access to that provision is at a premium, charities like Wellspring provide a crucial service, so I am very glad to offer my support by becoming their patron.”