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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Westminster counselling scheme for the homeless wins national award

September 25 2009
Diane Goodkind gets a well-deserved BACP award for her work with homeless people The British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy has given Westminster's initiative for the Homeless (Homeless Health Team) an award for the outstanding project of 2005. Diane Goodkind, who launched the scheme, received the award. This counselling service is offered at Great Chapel Street Medical Centre, The Passage and Dr Hickey's Surgery, but the small counselling team aims to offer the service across Westminster eventually. The counselling team provides time to any individual who wants to understand themselves better and learn to take greater control of their lives. All members of the team have extensive experience of working with the homeless. When asked what the award means, Goodkind told The Pavement, "at the start I kept hearing people in or out of the homeless loop saying,'don't expect clients to come more than a few times.' We've proved them wrong." Elaborating on what counselling achieves, Goodkind said, "I see our job as offering a safe, confidential place in which clients can stop, take stock, and explore areas of their lives which are negatively affecting everything they do and say. We help to highlight all sorts of patterns of behaviour that are destructive and disastrous." "We try to offer some understanding of how they've become stuck in a rut, and give them tools to actually change the direction of their lives," Goodkind went on to say. "There is always more than one road to travel, yet because people are so used to going the same route, they don't necessarily even recognise there are alternatives. "We cannot promise a miracle cure, however we do genuinely help people to feel empowered and take back what is rightly theirs." Despite bending this reporters ear with the details of the counselling service, Goodkind has gone straight back to what she does best - two way conversation with clients.