A Porthcawl social enterprise, which provides a range of counselling services, has received backing from Communities 2.0, the Welsh Government’s digital inclusion programme.
The Communities 2.0 support will enable the organisation to purchase equipment to help improve its counselling services and provide IT equipment for a new training room, where people can study for a diploma in therapeutic counselling.
Staff at Tŷ Elis have also received technical advice as part of the support package. Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Founded in 1996, Tŷ Elis is a general counselling service providing talking therapies on a broad range of issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, separation and loss. Tŷ Elis believes there should be no barriers to someone wanting to access counselling. Whilst the service is open to anyone, regardless of geographic location or income, the majority of Tŷ Elis’s clients are people unable to afford private counselling or the level of support they need. All clients self-refer.
The investment from Communities 2.0 will support the aim of Tŷ Elis to become more sustainable through provision of its counselling services, along with the development of a new training facility.
Hugh Bennett, Business Development Manager at Ty Elis, welcomed the news:
“We’re very grateful for the support from Communities 2.0. We’re at an important stage in the organisation’s development, as we not only seek to build on our successful counselling services, but seek to create a purpose-built training facility for the next generation of counsellors. The Communities 2.0 support, will enable us to do just that”.
Communities 2.0 project director Cathryn Marcus commented:
“Communities 2.0 is delighted to be able to support Tŷ Elis. As a developing social enterprise, it helps people throughout Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot with a range of counselling services. It’s also seeking to improve the way it trains prospective counsellors, who are seeking to earn valuable experience and new qualifications. Much of this work will be done with the equipment that Communities 2.0 has enabled it to purchase”.
Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme and is part of the Delivering a Digital Wales strategy. Communities 2.0 is delivered by four partner organisations – the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (University of South Wales).
This investment is just part of a total of over £42,000 invested across Wales as part of this round of Communities 2.0 funding. To date over £585,000 has been approved for direct investment in social enterprises and micro businesses in Wales, supporting over 100 enterprises.
In addition, Communities 2.0 has supported 291 enterprises with significant assistance and advice for adopting or exploiting Information Communication Technology. Over 325 community groups and organisations have also benefitted from significant assistance and advice from the project, many of whom have used this to inform the creation of new social enterprises.