Our Accessibility Strategy

Sunderland Counselling Service recognises that there may be a range of factors which could act as potential barriers for people would benefit from our services. We have drawn up a strategy to help us to ensure that we make our services as accessible as possible, in order to help us to meet our charitable aims and objectives, which are set out in our Mission Statement.

Equalities Statement

Sunderland Counselling Service is committed to making its services accessible to those who need them. Therefore, the service operates an Equal Opportunities Policy, which applies equally to clients accessing the service as well as to prospective employees and volunteers.

We undertake not to discriminate against any potential client in ensuring that they receive services appropriate to their needs.  We will seek to assess individual need and provide services to meet this need wherever possible. This may include making reasonable adaptations to service delivery, such as providing accessible venues, interpreter provision, literature in a range of languages and meeting any preference on gender of therapist where available. We make no charge to our clients for any of the services we provide.

As described in our mission statement, SCS is an equal opportunity organisation committed to the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief (including lack of belief), disability, gender, gender reassignment, sex, sexual orientation, being married or in a civil partnership, age, being pregnant or on maternity or parental leave.

Areas of focus

  • Physical disability and physical access.
  • Digital inclusion / exclusion.
  • Gender and sexuality.
  • Economic deprivation.
  • Childcare / caring responsibilities.
  • Shift workers.
  • People from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • People who do not have English as a first language.
  • People who are autistic or neurodiverse.

Download our full Accessibility Strategy here:

Counselling for people with Sight Loss

In 2024 a cohort of our counsellors attended training with RNIB to learn how to provide accessible counselling for people with Sight Loss. We are committed to making counselling accessible in the following ways:

From the first contact with our admin team we warmly asses your needs for you to access counselling with our service. We can offer support with low level rooms, offering a meeting point at the entrance to the building to guide you to the waiting area. We can support with face to face, telephone, online and where appropriate, home appointments. All of our information around appointments is available in large print, braille or scannable e-reader format.

All of our rooms are spacious and uncluttered with contrasting colours to help distinguish surroundings.  We can also offer different levels of lighting in our counselling rooms to help with different levels of sight loss. Your allocated counsellor will greet you for your appointment and can assist you to the counselling room, ensuring to make you are aware of any doors or stairs. At the end of the counselling appointment your counsellor will assist you to the exit. All of our counsellors are mindful of the different levels of impact sight loss can have and encourage discussion at the beginning of your therapy to ensure they are working in a way that suits you.

What is National Inclusion Week?

Founded by Inclusive Employers, National Inclusion Week (NIW) is a week dedicated to celebrating inclusion and taking action to create inclusive workplaces.

By 2024 National Inclusion Week will be in its 12th year, and where we started with building awareness to inclusion and diversity we’re starting to shift into empowering people to make change in their workplace by providing the tools, resources and interactive sessions to do this.

New Development in Equality and Diversity

The UK government is updating the Equality Act 2010, with changes set to be implemented in January 2024.

This will now be known as The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023.

All information is available on WWW.GOV.UK

Therapy and Social Change Network

The Therapy and Social Change (TaSC) Network is a broad affiliation of people interested in exploring the relationship between therapy and social justice. They are interested both in the ways that counselling and psychotherapy can be practiced with social justice concerns in mind (for instance, tackling unconscious biases in the consulting room), and also in the ways that therapeutic principles and practices can be extended out to the wider social realm (for instance, developing social and emotional literacy in schools). Find out more

Some interesting articles written by Emily Blyth, one of our counsellors:

Radical Acceptance in Counselling and Everyday Life

Radical Acceptance: A Position of Privilege?