Network was established in 1986 with the visionary aim of providing affordable counselling for all regardless of background, and for developing the skills and capacity of the counselling profession to support communities in the Bristol area.

This beginning was founded in a Christian belief in the fundamental worth of all human beings and the belief that there is within people a capacity for learning, growth, a change in direction and new beginnings. Today we continue to hold our ethos and values at the heart of what we do, and to recognise and work with the spiritual aspect of human experience.

“We believe that quality, affordable mental health support is a necessity, not a luxury”

Rita Smith, Previous Chief Executive

Over the years Network’s volunteer counsellors have supported around 10,000 clients to move forward with their difficulties, and trained hundreds of fully qualified professional counsellors. Network has grown into a highly professional counselling and training service, is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and its counsellors, supervisors, trainers and students are bound by BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Network’s Statement of Purpose

To promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being in the context of a Christian ethos by:

  • providing professional counselling and related services on an affordable basis;
  • providing a range of educational and training opportunities in counselling and other related areas;
  • providing other opportunities for personal, psychological and spiritual development.

2019-2023 Strategy

Our Strategy informs the basis of our development as an organisation over a four year period. Developed in consultation with staff, counsellors, students and clients the Strategy was reviewed in mid-2021 to reflect the changes and challenges that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can view our 2019-2023 Strategy here.


Mrs Eileen Cahill (Chair)

Mrs Vicky Elliott

Mr Steve Lyne (Treasurer)

The Revd Dr Simon Taylor


Head of Training: Anne Duke
Head of Counselling: Anne Duke (Interim)
Chief Executive: Mat Ray

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