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Charity invests in new Chesterfield premises

Derwent Rural Counselling Service, which supports people with mental health problems across Derbyshire, has invested in new premises in Chesterfield.

DRCS has bought the old Register Office in Chesterfield as part of ambitious growth plans for the charity which currently operates a team of 60 freelance and employed staff working from home and out of seven centres across the county.

Grand plans for the Beetwell Street premises include office space, consulting rooms, meeting rooms and relaxation space to help cope with an increased demand for DRCS services in the area plus other tenanted options.

Janette Smeeton, chief executive at DRCS said: “We have seen rapid growth and success in the last few years and expanded our services now treating people from the Amber Valley, Erewash, Chesterfield, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne, Derby, Swadlincote and the Peak District. Adding to our property portfolio in Chesterfield makes sense as were using rented meeting rooms in the town.

“One main aim for DRCS has been to create a local service for everyone in Derbyshire to make sure everybody can get the service they need, close to home.

“The new Chesterfield building offers the biggest property challenge to date with three floors to renovate, but will help us provide as many treatment appointments as possible for the local community. We have not yet begun renovations but hope these will start as soon as possible.”

Mark Serby, chair of trustees for the Bakewell-headquartered charity said: “This is an exciting project and another step in implementing the board’s strategy for growth.

“Now is the right time to invest in the future. Covid has changed how we do things and proved there is not only appetite, but there’s a need. By investing in the purchase and renovation of the property we will be in a position to scale active services and have capacity to introduce potential new ones to meet changing needs and have a real meaningful impact.”

Over the last 30 years, DRCS has become the largest voluntary sector provider of counselling services in the region offering help to individuals, via self referral or via a GP, with common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions through counselling, CBT, guided self-help, and other forms of talking therapy.

Over the last eight years, DRCS has been in partnership with Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to improve access to psychological therapies throughout Derbyshire achieving above national recovery rates and shorter waiting times.