About Us

Lawrence Way Community Counselling Service was set up by the NHS in 1992 and works across the North of Cambridge City. It covers people who are registered at any Cambridge GP surgery.

People who live in North Cambridge can also use this counselling service, wherever they are registered as patients.

How Counselling Can Help

Counselling is a talking therapy. It gives a safe space for you to explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views, helping you to find your own insights into your problems and to deal with and overcome issues.

Cost of the Counselling

The counselling service is free at the point of delivery; this means that there is no charge to you. Our funding comes directly from the NHS.

Counselling Offered

Our counsellors are professionally trained or in the later stages of further training. We offer a variety of counselling approaches.

Our counselling service is provided regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ability or faith. We work with adults, from age 17 upwards. If at the first appointment we feel we are not the best people to help you, we will discuss other options with you.

Arranging Counselling

At East Barnwell, Petersfield and Woodlands surgeries your GP will tell you how to make contact with us. Otherwise your GP will suggest you call us on our confidential answerphone number: 01223 425419. You can also self refer by calling us directly. We aim to return your call within two working days and will tell you about our appointment system, check your availability and your personal details, and answer any questions you may have.

Waiting Times and Assessment

There is a waiting time for the service and we offer the first appointment as soon as we can – usually within three weeks. At this first appointment you can talk with the counsellor about what services are available locally and decide which may be best for you. If you, and the counsellor carrying out the assessment, decide that we are the right service for you, your name will be added to the waiting list for weekly sessions. The wait for these sessions may be longer. There is greater demand on evening time, so if you can be flexible in your timing this will help. We can offer up to six sessions with the possibility of a few more after a review.


The details of what you discuss in your counselling sessions are held in confidence within the service. Each counsellor, as part of their professional ethics and development requirements, keeps a confidential and brief record of your sessions. Each counsellor also meets regularly with a senior colleague for supervision to talk about their work. No identifying details are revealed in these confidential discussions, which help your counsellor’s work with you.

We do not pass on information to anyone else, unless we are legally or ethically obliged to breach confidentiality, such as in these circumstances:

  • If there is an imminent risk of harm to yourself or to someone else
  • If we are concerned about your safety or that of someone else
  • Any child protection concerns
  • Involvement in criminal activity

Wherever possible we would discuss any concerns and actions with you before informing anyone else.

The information you share with us is treated as confidential. However, we will write to your GP at the end of your counselling sessions to give them the dates of your appointments and questionnaire scores. We will send you copies of any such letters we write about you unless you ask us not to.

Records and Outcome Measures for Counselling

As part of the NHS IAPT Service (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) funded by the Cambs and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, we collect information on age, sex, ethnicity etc. We also collect measures on how you are feeling when you begin counselling, and how this may develop and change during the counselling sessions. At the first counselling session you will be asked to give your permission for this information to be collected within Cambridgeshire, where it will be stored safely and kept in confidence. Any information that is passed on in order to see how therapies are experienced across the country will be anonymised – that is, your name and contact details will not be used and the information cannot be traced back to you. Our Service complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Confidentiality NHS Code of Practice.


We are glad to hear about your experience of counselling and we use your feedback to help shape the service. At the end of your counselling sessions you will be given a feedback form and we welcome your comments.

However, if you find that you have a problem within the counselling the first thing to do is to tell your counsellor and talk it through together. If this does not help then you may choose to talk to the Service Manager, Jan Grainger. If you would like to do this then please telephone 01223 425419 and leave a message for her and she will get back to you. She will aim to contact you within two working days.

We also run an ‘anger and assertiveness’ course and one on ‘improving low self-esteem’. call us and leave a message for details.

Requesting to see the information we hold about you

Should you wish to see the records kept to provide our service to you then please contact the Service Manager.

Contact Details

You cannot make an appointment by calling in at the different places we work.

The best way is to leave a message on our confidential answerphone: 01223 425419

Or e-mail the Service Manager: jan.grainger@nhs.net