Although the causes of homelessness are complex, poor mental health is a major contributing factor. Many people who have experienced homelessness are also struggling to cope with various personal issues, from anxiety and depression to low self-esteem, grief and loss.

Until now, if a companion at Emmaus Dover wanted counselling support, they’d only be able to get it through a GP referral – possibly waiting up to a year for an initial appointment with a counsellor.

Thanks to a grant from the Kent Community Foundation – Port of Dover Community Fund, we are now able to offer our companions weekly in-house 1-2-1 counselling sessions with fully trained counsellor, Sharon Schollar.

Counselling offers a range of positive mental and physical health benefits. It can also help to improve self-esteem, giving companions the confidence to set goals and the motivation to achieve them.

Companion Peter has been attending counselling sessions throughout the pandemic. He said: “These donations mean that we can get the help we need from people like Sharon. Before I came to Emmaus Dover, I didn’t know who I was, but with Sharon’s guidance, I can now see who I am. Every goal is possible from here.”