Celebrating 70 Years Supporting The Local Community
Wednesday, January 5th, 2022
RELATE MID-SURREY CELEBRATES 70 YEARS OF SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
What does Relate look like in 2021?
We know that healthy relationships are an important factor in wellbeing, with the health risks from feeling alone or isolated being comparable to those from smoking, obesity or high blood pressure. We know the stresses and difficulties that relationship breakdown can cause and yet how little education there is on building secure relationships.
Nationally Relate works to champion the importance of relationships in society, in the media and, through working closely with the government, in the heart of public policy. We carry out research to see how relationships are changing and ensure that our services are responding to current needs as well as making recommendations on how government policy.
Locally in Mid and East Surrey
As an organisation we aim to support you on your journey and equip you where needed. Our purpose is to help you make the most of your couple, family or wider relationships, past, present or future, even if you’re not currently in a relationship.
Our services include Relationship Counselling for individuals and couples, Family Counselling, Mediation, Young People’s Counselling and Sex Therapy. We also provide friendly and informal workshops for people at important stages in their lives.
We deliver these services through face-to-face sessions or remotely via phone or video call so that clients can choose which method best works for them. We also have a wealth of help pages, practical tips, guides and videos to help manage issues such as sex, separation or parenting for those who prefer to research at their own pace.
A brief history
We opened in 1951 in response to the rising divorce rates at the time. Meeting in Reigate Grammar School in those early years, we later moved to Chart Lane and Park Street before settling in our current premises in Church Street. Our Epsom office has been in its current location in the town centre since 1998 and we have had an outpost in Oxted and more recently an office in Dorking.
In 1996 we opened our first charity shop in Reigate, which 4 years later moved to its current location in Woodhatch. As a self-funding, independent charity this has remained a vital source of funding and allows us to provide bursaries as well as supporting our work with Young People. To reflect the importance of this work by our team of shop volunteers, the shop manager Jean Reynolds was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2020.
Over the years many famous Presidents, including Judi Dench & Ruby Wax have helped raise the profile of our work and the importance of relationships in society. We also work hard to secure grants from organisations such as BBC Children in Need, National Lottery and the Surrey County Council Hardship Fund.
The services we offer over the years have change with the times. In 1989 Sexual Therapy was introduced, followed by Family Counselling in 2004 and Mediation in 2014. We also began to run courses and workshops with specific focus. In 2003 the words ‘marriage guidance’ were removed from the title to reflect changes in relationships and our work which now covered all relationships such a within families, with colleagues or with friends.
Starting with a group of volunteers, the organisation introduce training in 1954 and this has grown over the years to the well-regarded qualifications we now offer as leaders in this specialised work.
Rebranding for 2022
We are making an important change to our name for 2022. Relate Mid & East Surrey better reflects the local area we cover and the inclusion of Tandridge in recent years. Although we welcome clients from any location and our online sessions make us even more accessible, we have specific work in Epsom & Ewell, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead & Tandridge areas and funding received is often specifically for use in those areas. An example of this is when we were able to offer free sessions for Young People in our 4 council areas during the lockdowns through 2020. We are pleased to have trained Young People’s counsellors working in a good number of schools throughout Mid & East Surrey.
Relate Mid & East Surrey now has a large team of specifically-trained counsellors & therapists with appointments are available from 9am to 9pm weekdays and Saturday mornings which can currently be accessed through Zoom or telephone. When safe to meet again face to face, we have a suite of purpose built rooms ready but will continue to offer remote sessions.