Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question and answer here, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01548 312256 or email us at info@next-steps.org.

How do I make an appointment?

We know that it can be hard to reach out for help, so we do our best to make the booking process for your first appointment as stress-free as possible. You can phone us on 01548 312256 or email us at info@next-steps.org.

When you contact us, we will arrange an appointment for a time that is convenient for you. Please be aware that our office phone is not manned all the time so you may need to leave a message. If you prefer to email us, please include your full name and a contact number (in case we need to contact you on the day of your appointment).

Whichever method of communication you choose, we will endeavour to contact you within 24 hours of receiving your message. We will not return missed calls if there is no accompanying voicemail. This is for confidentiality reasons.

We ask that you do not send us a message via our social media pages, as these sites are not checked as frequently as voicemails or emails.

What days and times are you open?

Our offices are open between 2pm and 5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

We can offer counselling appointments on those days between 2.30pm and 6.30pm, although there may be some flexibility with these timings for online and ecotherapy sessions.

Occasionally we may be able to offer Saturday morning appointments for face to face indoor/outdoor sessions. Please enquire about availability when you contact us.

Unfortunately, drop-in appointments are not possible, all sessions must be booked in advance and full Covid-19 health and safety protocol must be followed.

How much are the fees for counselling?

The prices listed here are for appointments with fully qualified practitioners.

Low-cost sessions may be available soon when we are able to introduce our counselling placement programme for trainee counsellors (subject to Covid-19 Government guidelines). Trainees are in the final stages of a 4-year training process and are fully supported and supervised by both their training organisation and Next Steps.

Current fees:

In-centre/online/telephone: £45 per 50-minute session

Outdoor Therapy (Ecotherapy): £50 per 50-minute session

Why is there a charge for counselling?

At present we receive no government or local authority funding and so we need to charge for our services to be able to pay our qualified practitioners and cover overheads. However, from September we will soon be re-introducing volunteer placements for trainee counsellors (subject to the latest Covid-19 Government guidelines). With our training programme in place, our capacity to offer much-reduced rates for sessions will increase.

Although we will still need to charge a fee to cover overheads and supervision costs for trainees, we envisage being able to eventually introduce the following fee structure (subject to confirmation and change):

£10 for the initial assessment with subsequent session fees graduated depending on income from £15-35 per session.

Looking further ahead into the future, we are planning on applying for national lottery funding to be able to offer free (low cost) counselling sessions, support groups and workshops.

Is there parking at Kingsbridge Age Concern?

There are a few parking places next to the Age Concern Building for people with restricted mobility. You can access these by turning into Ilbert Road just to the left of the CO-OP Garage forecourt, and then following the road round to the right (past the library).  You will see the Age Concern Building in front of you and the parking spaces to your right. Please note however, these are reserved for people with restricted mobility.

An alternative for parking can be found at Quay Car Park just a few minutes (flat) walk from where we are. If you walk towards the town past the Creeks End pub, you will see the Age Concern building just to the left past the band stand. This is a pay and display car park with a minimum charge of 40p.

What is a Compassionate Community?

A Compassionate Community is a community that provides support to someone who is dying. The community could be family, neighbours, local organisations, a faith group, local businesses or people living in a particular area. It could be some or all of these.

People in a Compassionate Community help care for a dying person through small acts of compassion, supporting the dying person during their end of life, often enabling them to die well and, if possible, at home.

Palliative care professionals, such as doctors and care workers, are also a vital part of a Compassionate Community. However, to provide the best possible end of life care to someone they need extra support from the patient’s community, particularly if the patient wishes to die at home.

By working and pulling together a Compassionate Community can help a dying person, and their family and friends, get the support and care they need, helping them to deal with dying and death and the subsequent bereavement and loss of those left behind.