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Frequently Asked Questions

General Enquires

How old do you have to be to access the service?

16 years old.
(If younger we can refer to one of our partners)

Can I self - refer?

Yes, you can refer yourself into nearly all of our programmes and activities - including our therapeutic services.

You can ring any of centres or just call in and book yourself an appointment.

We also have a new self referral form. Click here to complete.

I'm not sure what support I need or where to start?

Sometimes it can be daunting to get the help that you need or to know where to start. If you are not sure which of our services may be best for you, simply call or pop in to your nearest centre. Our friendly team will have a chat about your needs and help you to identify the best place to start.

Can I just drop in to my local centre?

Yes, you are welcome to drop in to your local centre anytime between 10 am and 3 pm (we offer an appointment only service outside of this time).

You can chat to our friendly team about what type of support you might be looking for and which service might be best for you. They can then arrange an appointment for further support or to access services. You can stop for a coffee and browse our leaflets and information.

Do I have to access my nearest centre?

No, we understand that not everybody wishes to access support in their local community and you are free to attend activities at any our centres.

All our support is offered in a safe and confidential environment.

Mental Health & Wellbeing (One To One support)

What different types of therapies do you offer?

We offer a range of talking therapies which includes:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Couple Therapy
  • High Intensity Therapy
  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

Please note, not all our centres can offer this extensive range.
Please note that one to to one therapy is not currently available at our Preston or Blackburn Centre.

What Is Counselling?

It's offered on a 1-1 basis between you and your therapist were you can explore your thoughts and feelings and or options to find your own answers in a non-judgemental, safe environment.

You can see more information here.

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which explores how thoughts affect our feelings and actions and supports you to consider how by changing our thoughts we can effectively change our feelings and actions.

You can see more information here.

How can I refer someone to the service?

1. Call us on 0300 330 1354 or complete our self-referral form.

2. We will the contact them in order to book an assessment.

3. They will then be offered a 1-1 telephone assessment.

4. The therapist will discuss with them the different types of therapy available and together they will decide which is best for your referral.

Please note, due to new GDPR regulations we won't be able to progress a referral from a partner organisation unless we have their consent to contact them or an information sharing agreement.

Can I self - refer?

Yes, you can self refer into our Mental Health & Wellbeing services...

1. Call us on 0300 330 1354 or complete our self-referral form.

2. You will then be booked for a 'Wellbeing Chat' with one of our therapists before you can begin our one-to-one or group therapy.

3.The therapist will discuss with you the different types of therapy available and together you will decide which is best for you.

How long will I have to wait before I receive support?

Following receipt of your referral (self or agency) you will receive a call from a member of the team to arrange a Wellbeing Chat.

Please note, waiting times may vary depending on the type of therapy you wish to access and the current demand. Following assessment, you will be allocated an appropriate therapist from our team and agree a regular appointment slot at a time to suit you.

What can talking therapies help me with?

We can work with you to address a wide range of issues impacting upon your mental and wellbeing to help you alleviate distress and bring about positive changes. The types of issues which we can support you to address might include:

  • Feelings of panic or anxiety
  • Depression and low mood
  • Phobias and other compulsive behaviour
  • Family or relationship distress
  • Bereavement
  • Abuse, either past or present
Can I talk in confidence?

Therapy is confidential; however in exceptional circumstances confidentiality may be broken.

These circumstances could include:

* Where statutory law requires us to inform the relevant authorities (such as terrorist activities, drug trafficking or abuse of a child or vulnerable adult)
* Where you as a client give consent for the confidence to be broken.
* Where in extreme cases were we are legally compelled by a court of law.
* If we believe you are at risk of harm to yourself or others.

All our notes will remain the property of Lancashire Women they will be securely electronically stored by us for 7 years before being destroyed.

Our Online Wellbeing Groups

Can I use my smart phone?

Yes,or laptop or tablet - any device! As long as it has a camera and a microphone.

How does it all work? How do I join?

We will send you a text message reminder on the day of the group which will ask you to check your emails. Follow the link and complete the questionnaire. Once this is completed you will be sent a link to join the Zoom session.

What happens if I have technical problems?

Don’t panic! just let us know by calling us on 0300 330 1354 and we can talk you through it.

Who will be in the group?

A Tutor, a Counsellor and other people like yourself taking part in the group.

Do I have to show my face?

We ask you to keep your camera switched on to ensure that no one else is in the room and to ensure confidentiality for other participants on the group.

What is MindFit?

MindFit is the perfect starting point for building confidence. Its positioning as our branded offer and core service ensures that all women have the opportunity to spend the time required, embedding those essential firm foundations needed for her to build her life and achieve her goals. We believe that without spending this vital time, a woman’s personal development might be hindered and the benefits of other interventions lost.

Mindfit doesn’t simply identify personal barriers – it enables women to take control of their emotions – to practise self-compassion. Mindfit sensitively explores self- acceptance and knowledge, which in turn leads to discovery of the individuals self-value and belief. The techniques and strategies taught throughout the course encourage positive progress as women find the resilience needed to begin to believe in personal abilities, problem solve and halt their negative thinking patterns. Women can begin to explore and embrace those personal influences that can lead to positive behavioural changes.

Mindfit offers a safe, caring and confidential environment in which individuals can reflect on their individual needs, to start to plan and explore their hopes and fears which they can then start to realise through short and long term goal setting - safe in the knowledge that they have the right foundations from which they can grow – and the tools at hand to help them deal with any setbacks they may encounter in life. Connecting with others along the way – the supportive environment in which this starter course is delivered, propels women towards their goals as they too often support others in their journey. With an emphasis on regular reflection of personal achievement throughout the programme, this first steps course is the just the start BUT the start that we know is vital for successful continued growth, discovery and sustained positive well-being.

What happens if I miss the first session?

You can join within the first two weeks. If you have missed the first two sessions, you can book on the next available course.

The first session is to familiarise all group participants with how we operate the zoom sessions, we will clarify our group agreement and give an overview of what the group entails. Don’t worry if you miss this you will be sent an email with all these details before you join the 2nd session.

How do I know that this group is for me?

On the first session we usually discuss what the group is and is not – in general the tutors role is to help you find the right wellbeing strategies for your needs, and help you achieve your personal wellbeing goals

Everyone on the groups has different needs. To ensure that the tutors design the group around the group’s needs, the tutors will ask the following questions at the first session. If you miss the first session you will be sent these before you join on the 2nd session.

  • What do you hope to get from the group?
  • How will you know when you have got it? (This is around expectations).

We can help you work through these and therefore ensure the course is right for you

Some people will say for example:

Hopes

I want to build my confidence.

I want to stop negative thinking.

I want to stop worrying about what others think of me.

I want to feel happier

I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

Expectations

Learn how to be calm – not to react negatively

Confident to take the next step

Learn which techniques and strategies to use to manage and release my emotions.

Learn to be more resilient.

What if it's noisy where I am?

We understand how difficult it is to find a place of complete quiet! We will keep your speaker on mute, so that there is no background noise. We will unmute during group discussions or if you indicate you want to speak.

I want to know that I have as much privacy as possible – can you guarantee that?

We cannot guarantee total privacy due to the nature of groups but we take every measure we can to protect everyone’s privacy and ask that you do the same– we ask all participants to sign an agreement which covers confidentiality – It is really important that you read through the group agreement prior to attending the group. We will only use your first name on screen. The host will change this if your full name is on screen during the session.

What happens if I need to leave or want to speak to the tutors privately during the session ?

At the bottom of your Zoom screen or on your phone there are 4 dots – If at any time during the session you need to speak to one of the tutors privately you can click on chat

You can use this if you have to leave the session or if you feel you need to talk to one of us after the session. If you feel you need any additional emotional support we can arrange for a welfare check call to be made to you, after the session.

There is also a hand emoji – just press that if you want to speak or have any questions.

What if I have learning difficulties or need any additional support?

If you are in any doubt it is important that you let one of the team know before you Join the zoom session. It is best to do this as soon as possible so that we can direct you to receiving the right support. For example , in a group it is important that you can follow the course content, so that you can keep up with the pace. It is also important that your spoken English ( speaking ) is at a level 3 – this will ensure that you will benefit from the various techniques and strategies that you will learn

Employment & Skills Support

Do you offer Employment Support for men?

We work with men who want help with IT and computers and are 16 to 24 years under Invest in Youth or over 55 years under Age of Opportunity. For more information regarding our Employment Support click here.

For any other employment related support, we can refer you to our local partner organisations. Please contact your nearest centre.

I have a Job (or a zero hours contract), and I am looking for a different job – can you help me?

You can only sign up with our Employment & Skills projects if you are unemployed or economically inactive.

What support can you offer ?

We have employability programmes running to help anyone unemployed, ill, disabled or a carer and this will be centred around the persons needs e.g. CV writing, digital support, interview techniques, confidence building.

Do You offer Digital Support?

Yes we are part of the BBO (Building Better Opportunities) which enables us to help anyone unemployed, disabled or ill ,with help with any education around computers. Call your nearest centre for more information.

I am not ready to look for work yet but I do want help with my confidence ... can you help?

Yes. Our Workfit project is designed to support women who are perhaps not quite ready to look for work, but need help with confidence, mental health support, job skills, getting basic skills qualifications etc. Your WorkFit Coach will help you to create the right support package for you. Contact your nearest centre for a referral in to this programme.

How can I refer?

Call us on 0300 330 1354, drop in to our nearest centre or complete our self-referral form.

Can you help me whilst I am long term sick from work?

This would depend on your individual circumstances however primarily we would say you can only sign up with our WorkFit project once you have registered unemployed even if you are on P.I.P. (we could potentially support you.) Call our centres if you would like more information.

I have children, but really want to get back to work, what can I do?

We can do back to work calculations and help with employment support and volunteering opportunities and any training requirements through our extensive Employment Support Offer.

Money Advice

How do I refer?

You can call or drop into the centre nearest to you. We can then advise on current appointment availability.

What can you help me with?

We can work with you to address a wide range of issues that can be affecting you. The types of issues which we can support you with might include:

  • Benefits ( applications, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals)
  • Budgeting
  • Rent Arrears
  • FCA regulated Debt counselling (creditor mediation, token payments, financial statements)
  • Council Tax Arrears
My P.I.P.(Personal Independence Payment) has been disallowed, can you help me?

You must look at the decision, read through it and decide if you disagree with the scoring. If you do you should write down your reasoning and ask for a mandatory reconsideration first by phoning or writing to the decision maker at DWP.

But, WE CAN HELP! Contact your nearest centre for a Money Advice appointment, we can help with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals but PLEASE NOTE YOU ONLY HAVE 28 DAYS TO REQUEST A MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION UPON RECEIPT OF THE DECISION.

I've been found fit to work following a DWP assessment! But I disagree with the decision - can you help?

The process is to ask them to look at the decision again, this is known as Mandatory Reconsideration and you can do this by phone or in writing with your reasons. If you need more support with this please get in touch by calling our centres to book a Money Advice appointment.

PLEASE NOTE YOU ONLY HAVE 28 DAYS TO REQUEST A MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION UPON RECEIPT OF THE DECISION.

My benefits have stopped! What do I do?

We can help, we are FCA regulated debt counsellors and we operate free 1 to 1 advice sessions to help with solutions contact your nearest centre for a 1 to 1 private money advice appointment.

Justice & Safety

How will a Conditional Caution affect my DBS? (Disclosure and Barring Service)

A conditional caution will show up in a routine DBS check if deemed relevant

Do I have to attend my Conditional Caution appointments, what happens if I don't?

When you sign the form to accept the Conditional Caution you are agreeing to complete the conditions noted. You must contact the police if you are struggling to comply to see if new arrangements can be made. Failure to attend all the appointments could result in you being prosecuted for the original offence.

What happens at the Conditional Caution appointments?

The appointments will consist of an assessment, action planning and goal setting, support relevant to your needs and an evaluation of the process. The support offered will be tailored to your individual circumstances, if you have been referred following a shoplifting offence due to financial issues the support, for example, will include debt, budgeting or benefit advice.

What happens when I attend for my PNDE? (Penalty Notice Disposal)

On receipt of your PNDE you will be given instructions on how to book onto the course, which will be arranged for the nearest convenient LWC centre. The course consists of one 3 hour appointment , with this time being split between an assessment, some group work relevant to the offence and an evaluation of the day. You must bring ID to these sessions.

How will a PNDE affect my DBS? (Disclosure and Barring Service)

A PND (Penalty Notice Disorder) does not form part of a criminal record but a record will be created on the Police National Computer (PNC) for PNDs issued for recordable offences. A PND may be disclosed as part of an enhanced DBS check if deemed relevant.

Do I have to attend my PNDE course, what happens if I don't?

You must contact the police if you are struggling to attend to see if a new appointment can be made. A person given a PND has 21 days to either book a course, pay a penalty of £60 or £90 or request a Court hearing. If you fail to do either then a fine of one and a half times the penalty amount is registered in a magistrates’ court for enforcement.