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Watch Mark Thomas’ Cuckooed online and support free activist counselling

On 22 October, Mark Thomas will be showing his award-winning show Cuckooed online. The show will be introduced by Mark and followed by a Q&A session with Mark and guests.

Tickets are £5, and if you use this link, and 20% of ticket sales will go to Counselling for Social Change to support our free counselling for activists.

About Cuckooed

A comedy of betrayal. Mark Thomas tells his true story of how Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer (BAE Systems) came to spy on a comedian. A tale of hubris, planes, demos and undercover deceit told by the award-winning performer. 

Fifteen years ago an activist and close friend of Mark’s was exposed as a spy for BAE Systems infiltrating the movement. Now Mark wants to find him and has some questions to ask. This is a true story. The show uses interviews from friends, colleagues, activists and journalists to examine the impact of betrayal.

It is a personal and timely tale that tries to unearth what it means to be spied upon by a corporation under the sanction of the state.

Personal experience

Emily Apple, one of the founders of Counselling for Social Change, has personal experience with Martin Hogbin, the spy at the centre of Cuckooed and is one of the people interviewed in the show.

Emily stated:

I loved Martin. He was one of my best friends. I was pregnant when we first found out that he was a spy. We were so close, I had asked him to be the secular godfather to my unborn child.

She continued:

The pain of that betrayal still sits deep within me. It took me a long time to accept that Martin was a spy and made a myriad of excuses for him. Remember we found out before the undercover policing scandal and the just the idea that Martin could be something he wasn’t, was just, unbelievable.

The feeling that someone you knew and loved was a spy is sickening. I still feel physically sick when I write about Martin. I suffered from PTSD as a result of not only his betrayal, but also the betrayal of other undercover cops I knew. It’s a never-ending grief.

The NHS wasn’t able to help my PTSD. Mental health services have been cut to the bone. And the six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy I was offered, couldn’t even scratch the surface.

Luckily I had some compensation from an unlawful arrest so I was able to afford private counselling. But my experiences also mean I’m passionate about being able to offer activists free counselling with qualified counsellers.

But it’s not all trauma…

As usual plenty of laughs, some weird characters, documentary styles, probably a tear or two and the vague possibility that Mark might get beaten up in the making of it as he tries to find out if he wants revenge or if he can forgive a friend.

The show won an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award and ran for a month off Broadway in New York.

So come along (virtually) on 22nd October, support activist counselling, and watch a brilliant and compelling show.

Swimming for Mental Health

Lucy Allen is swimming in the River Dart 10k on 10 September to raise money for Counselling for Social Change.

Lucy is hoping to raise enough money to provide at least 40 hours of free emotional support to people on benefits or low-incomes.

Please support Lucy and Counselling for Social Change by

Donating Here

Support Lucy as she runs for CSC

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Support Lucy as she runs for CSC.
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Running for Mental Health

Lucy (pictured) is a trustee with Counselling for Social Change.  She has given loads of volunteer time as a counsellor (and trustee) to support people in need and now she's doing even more for our charity by trying to raise money to support up to four people on benefits through counselling support with CSC.

As Lucy said, "I've seen amazing changes in people's lives, through the counselling I and Counselling for Change have provided.  To make sure even more people benefit, I've decided to raise money by running the Hackney Half Marathon in London on 8th May."

You can support Lucy and Counselling for Social Change by donating here:

Donate Now

About Us

Counselling for Social Change is a registered charity (1160047).  We provide long-term emotional support across the UK.  Our main aim is to support people on low incomes and those that fight for social justice.





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CSC Marks 1000 Hours

confettiCounselling for Social Change, a low-cost counselling service operating across Cornwall, has just delivered its 1000th counselling session to people on low incomes.

Based in Penzance, Counselling for Social Change provides affordable face-to-face, online and telephone counselling.

Having just celebrated its second birthday, the organisation has now taken on more counsellors and extended its service across the county.

Clayton Elliott, one of the trustees stated:

“It has been really exciting to see our organisation grow. As a small organisation, run entirely by volunteers, it feels great to celebrate the first of many milestones. The work we do, providing emotional and psychological support to people on low-incomes, is really important and I’m very happy to see it growing and reaching more and more people across Cornwall.”

For further information, please contactus on 01736 364 722 or email info@counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk


1. Website address: www.lowcostcounsellingcornwall.org.uk

2. Counselling for Social Change works in line with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) ethical framework (http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/

Counselling Retreats for 2015

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‘Counselling for Social Change’ are taking applications from people interested in coming to our counselling retreat space in West Cornwall. The retreats will be running through the Spring and Summer each year.

The retreats run for 3 nights/4 days (Friday to Monday) in our Shepherd’s Hut near Penzance. The hut is tucked away on a 40 acre Permaculture project and provides a wild and beautiful space to get away.

People are welcome to stay in seclusion or get involved with the day-to-day work on the land.

While there, CSC will be able to offer intensive counselling support. This is a chance to explore issues around activism, burnout and related issues in a safe environment with a trained and qualified counsellor.

The retreat space and the counselling is all free (thanks to some great support from funders) but people will need to pay for their travel down and food/drink etc.

The experience of both retreatants and counsellors has been extremely positive so far.

For more information contact Clayton on 01736 364 722 or email info@counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk

Problem Gambling in Cornwall

GamCare has just extended its face-to-face support into Cornwall. 

GamCare provides support, information and advice to anyone suffering through a gambling problem.  This can be both gamblers and those impacted by gambling.

Some of CSC's counsellors have recently trained to provide face-to-face support in Cornwall.  This support is available for free by visiting the website or contact the free helpline: 0808 8020 133

Body Politic Conference

Body Politic flyer v 8 Dec 2013

The Body Politic
The 7th PCSR Psychotherapy & Politics conference
Sat 10th May 2014, 10am-5pm
NCVO, London, N1 9RL
Price: £90/£80 PCSR member/£50 low and un-waged
£10 early bird discount available—see below.

Come and explore how…

• our bodies are shaped by social, political, ecological and economic forces
• we shape our bodies through our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, patterns, actions, allegiances
• our bodies offer connections with the earth and other-than-human and more-than-human life
• we struggle to reclaim our bodies as our own, within the complex networks of power which we inhabit

. . .and what’s all this got to do with being a therapist/client?

The conference will include: keynotes from Relational Body Psychotherapists Shoshi Asheri and Nick Totton, a diverse programme of workshops, the chance to meet other interested
practitioners and to find out more and/or join PCSR—Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (http://pcsr-uk.ning.com/)

Information and Booking

Use the attached form to book, or for more information please email: Sissy Lykou: thebodypoliticpcsr@gmail.com

Costs: £90 full price / £80 for PCSR members / £50 for those on a low wage/unwaged. Early
bird discount of £10 off the rates above will be available until 15th February—please indicate
the amount you’re paying on the booking form. Cost includes refreshments but not lunch.

Cancellations: Up to 15th February 100% of deposits will be reimbursed, from 16th February 50% of deposits will be reimbursed. From 24th March no deposits will be reimbursed.

Membership information. For more information about PCSR, including becoming a member—so you can register for this conference at a member’s rate—please visit: http://pcsr-uk.ning.com/

Workshops. If you would be interested in offering a workshop on a related body politic theme in exchange for a free place at the conference, please email Kamalamani info@kamalamani.co.uk by 28th February 2014.

Accessibility. Our aim is for this conference to be as accessible as possible. Please let us know at the time of booking whether you have any particular requirements. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible, parking is available by prior arrangement and there is an induction loop.

Venue information and how to find NCVO please visit: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/contact


A week or so ago we received a lovely delivery of 50 trees from the Woodland Trust.

Next week another 100 trees will arrive (from elsewhere) and these will be planted to form the shelter belt for the site.

Crowdfunder Supporters

Thanks to all of these wonderful people have the money to get our counselling retreats up and running.  We are busy digging, building, and organising the site right now.

Thank you so much:

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