The Valley Trust was founded in 1985 and has been serving children in schools since 1994. For our first 10 years we served only those in Surrey, but since then we have greatly expanded our catchment area to serve four counties today.
The Valley Trust is supported by a Council of Management which comprises a number of our trustees along with other officers from varied professions offering experience and expertise relevant to our work. Together they provide regular support to our BACP accredited counsellors and supervisors and ensure full compliance with all necessary codes of practice, so giving a high degree of trust and confidence to all interested parties.
Our mission is to provide a confidential counselling service to pupils in schools with emotional, social or behavioural problems and to enable them to function more effectively in school or at home.
- Everyone, whatever their age, should have the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns.
- Everyone has the right to be listened to in a non-judgemental way.
- Everyone should have the opportunity to be assisted to improve troubled relationships, to come to terms with loss and other life changes and to discover their own intrinsic self worth.
- Counselling provides time to share problems and concerns in a non-judgemental setting.
- Counselling can provide the opportunity, in a confidential setting, to talk with the Counsellor in a way that could lead to the release of long-suppressed information that may be causing distress.
- Counselling can help children and young people build positive self esteem and gain insight into developing more effective relationships.
We aim, therefore, to offer a continually improving service to increasing numbers of school children.
In 1986, the first county-wide counselling service was born
Valley Trust was the inspiration of one man, Bruce Pearce, who in 1985 experienced an event that was to change hundreds of lives:
It was 1985 – the Guildford Civil Courts had closed for lunch. Within an hour the cycle of human misery would begin all over again. Parents fighting over property and/or maintenance.
Children lost and bewildered over where they were going to live and some not even knowing which parent was going to care for them on a long-term basis.
The lunch break gave a little respite. The corridors were now empty and the crowded waiting rooms silent. I passed a waiting room the door is a little ajar. The sounds of sobbing reached my ears – uncontrolled sobbing. I quietly push the door open so I can respond in some appropriate way. I see a lady slumped in a chair, her sodden handkerchief is held to her eyes. The front of her dress is wet with tears. I don’t know what to do or say. I kneel beside her and place my hand over hers. After a time she tries to make out who I am, what am I doing here? Through that lunch break she cries out her hurt, her loneliness, her fears for herself and for her children. Her anger – broken promises and shattered dreams.
I never asked her name. I have no idea where she lived. What is more, I shall never know what the future held for her and her little family. How much I would love to tell her that SHE was the inspiration for The Valley Trust. For years I have wanted to tell her. We could not prevent her or others from enduring those experiences, nor could we remove the pain.
But before I had completed the journey from Guildford to Dorking I knew that Surrey had to have a counselling service for her and all the thousands of parents and children who would follow into the pain of divorce and separation. Our meeting had to happen. Out of her valley that day another Valley was given birth – The Valley Trust.
That same day work began and in 1986 The Valley Trust opened its doors and the first county-wide counselling service in the UK was born.
She understood how I was feeling and didn’t hassle me or tell me what to do. It helped decide what I needed to do next. – Amy, aged 14
The Valley Trust Service is hugely valued in our school by children, teachers and parents. – Head Teacher