s they celebrate their 25th anniversary, we asked Greystones’ own Kirsty Kirkwood to give us the history behind Bray’s Living Life Counselling.
Kirkwood (third from left) with LLC board
Living Life Counselling was set up in Bray in September 1996. For the past 10 years the chief executive officer has been Greystones resident (and proud Scot) Kirsty Kirkwood.
The charity offers affordable therapy for people who are unemployed, in receipt of social welfare benefits or on a low income. In return for the top-quality service they receive, clients are asked to make a donation that they can comfortably afford. No-one is turned away. Typically, clients contribute between €10 and €30 weekly.
The offices at Arklow and Bray are open from 8.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Friday. In addition, the Bray centre opens on Saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
The issues people are helped with include addictions, crime victimisation, stress, anxiety, loss, abuse, depression, eating disorders, relationships and suicidal thinking.
In September 2006 Living Life Counselling celebrated its tenth anniversary and President Mary McAleese joined the celebrations as guest of honour.
For its twentieth anniversary, Simon Harris, Greystones native, St David’s graduate and Minister for Health at the time, was the keynote speaker at a major event in Bray’s Esplanade Hotel in September 2016. That’s him in pre-Covid days.
This month the organisation is 25 years old and going from strength to strength. Kirsty estimates that it has now helped more than 16,000 local people.
Here is what one of them said recently: “The help and support I received were incredibly healing and have given me the understanding and tools I was desperately looking for. Without this service, I know myself that I would have spiralled into a really bad place. I would have been very lost without the incredible work that you all do here.”
Unfortunately, an event to celebrate the silver anniversary is not possible on account of the Covid pandemic but party or no party, the charity’s important work will continue…
If you would like to find out more, please call the Bray office on 2866729 or check out their website here.
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