• Coronavirus Update
  • Crisis Number
  • Donate
Has Lockdown affected you?
Money Issues, feeling anxious...
We are still open online & by phone...
Click here to self-refer today

A day in the life...

Wed 7th August 2019

volunteer Accrington Counselling Placement

I have never seen so many women, in one room, at one time. I arrived late and out of breath and panicking that I had missed the volunteer induction start time. I needn’t have worried. Donna, the Therapeutic Services coordinator, looked at me over the top of her glasses and smiled her beaming smile. “It’s ok, you’re not late. We’re actually waiting for some more ladies to arrive”. Surely they could not fit another soul in that training room? But no, around twenty ladies and myself crammed into the ‘penthouse’ for what was to be our introduction to Lancashire Women…

The last time I set foot in this building must have been around 1976. I was 8 years old. Back then, Lancashire Women was a fascinating, but dark and dusty old book shop. My mum worked in what is now the upstairs office and it was strange to be back here after so many years. Few things have actually changed. The huge shop space I remembered has been re-modelled to become therapy rooms, meeting rooms and training rooms, as well as office space. The shop entrance is now the reception area, a crèche and a group meeting room.

The induction was held over 2 days, Friday and Saturday during a very hot and sunny spell in April 2017. Donna carried out most of the training in her own inimitable way, bouncing enthusiastically around the room with her vast experience and knowledge, bringing the Lancashire Women story to life. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization and have grown and developed with them over the last eighteen months, as a student volunteer and now counsellor.

A typical week for me comprises around twelve clients over the space of three days. Clients are allocated around an hour to share their stories, to cry, to laugh, to mourn, to be silent, to talk no-stop, but, essentially, to ‘be’. Here is a non-judgmental space where they can perhaps say things that nobody previously has cared to listen to, has had time to listen to, or has had the patience to listen to.

It is home to the most dedicated, passionate and caring group of women (and one gentleman) I have ever had the pleasure to meet. If the essence of Lancashire Women is to support, nurture, listen and care, then it is no more evident than at 21- 23 Blackburn Road, Accrington, BB5 1HF…

Today is actually ‘Coffee and Cake day’. While this is going on, the ‘Pop up Charity Shop’ is doing a roaring trade. A lady is busy compiling her CV on one of the PC’s in the communal area. Therapists, office staff, and volunteers are milling around. I can hear Carolyn, my line manager, tapping away on her computer, laughing with one of the many people who bob into her office for support and guidance.

A door that is always open.

Like all of the doors at Lancashire Women.