Here are a few words from some of my clients.

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“I am so grateful for this experience with Allan”

After having a more negative experience with CAHMS when I was younger, I was rather hesitant to start therapy again. The hardest part is definitely the initial email/call, it can feel so intimidating but nothing worthwhile isn’t scary! Allan made me feel completely comfortable and secure by letting me explore past childhood trauma at my own pace, so we were able to build up a trusting relationship.

Although poor mental health may be something I am always challenged with, Allan has given me the tools to better deal with this going forward. One thing I didn’t expect out of therapy was a newfound sense of strength and empowerment. Through better understanding my past and realising these things do not define me, I have been able to gain a better sense of control over how I interpret, react and respond things around me. Allan truly provided a safe space in which I could explore and offload some immensely difficult and challenging emotions and thoughts, in order to start to heal. It is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions with real high and low points, but it is so worthwhile to see and feel your own personal progression.

After seeing the benefits I experienced from my counselling with Allan, two of my friends also started therapy! I am so grateful for this experience with Allan, and know without a doubt he will be an ongoing presence in my life whenever I am experiencing difficulty. Thank you Allan, for everything.

To start with I had been considering speaking to a councillor for sometime. My husband and I were struggling in our marriage and I felt we needed some help. When I saw Allan’s posts on Facebook, I wondered if he could assist. I spoke with Allan for the first time, in the hope he could get us back on track as a loving couple. That’s not Allan’s arena but I felt comfortable talking with him about what was going on and he offered to help me and give pointers and suggestions to help in the marriage. Allan helped build my confidence and self esteem. He taught me how to take on board what people around me were saying and how they were saying these things. I have learned a lot more about myself, who I want to be, how I want to get there and what to look for in others. Now I have finished my sessions with Allan, we are still friends and I know I can call anytime if I feel I am struggling or just need that friendly, supportive person to give me a kick up the arse I need to reflect and rethink whatever is troubling me. 

Everyone should have a councillor in their support network, I happy to say Allan is now in mine! Thanks for everything!

“Allan is a kind, sympathetic guy who helped me untangle my thoughts in a way that felt natural and non-confrontational Allan treated me more as a friend than a counsellor which, in such a small amount of time, made me feel supported In tackling my issues. His sharing of his own life experiences often helped me to understand my own, he offered me perspectives and anecdotes rather than stuffy therapy exercises, which was so much more helpful in my processing His service was above and beyond the call of a regular counsellor with regular zoom sessions along with making our sessions fit my schedule, with no need for committing to a long term program, which really helped. Whilst my counselling has ended for now, I still feel as though his door is always open should I need or want it again – I feel like I have a counsellor I trust and can rely on in the future should I need to. Thank you Allan.”

We invited Allan to speak to our Rotary Club about Turning Point, a Charity which we are supporting this year in our fundraising. Allan is a Counsellor with this Charity.

Allan’s story is a moving one. From a most terrible accident and horrific injuries as a Teenager to a most miraculous recovery from physical injuries which lead to a further abyss of mental stress which, again, Allan climbed out of with help from friends, inner courage, a can-do attitude ( a few hills climbed too!) and an eventual renaissance of Spirit.

His talk to our Club was an inspiring one.

Allan can inspire. He surely inspired us.

Nic Wimpenny

Community Service Chairman

Huddersfield Pennine Rotary Club

2020 was supposed to be a milestone year for my 16 year old son, completing his GCSE exams, exciting plans for the holidays and then Covid 19 hit and abruptly “normal” life ended, school finished without any actual exams, no more social contact with friends, no regular sporting activities to participate in or spectate,  which he thoroughly enjoyed. During the summer months he adapted well with the new way of living. He appeared happy with the direction of his next chapter, he obtained great exam results, and didn’t seem to have anything to “worry” about, but gradually he became more emotional, had a lack of motivation and at times withdrawn for no obvious reason,  he would share his feelings and we would reassure him, but it didn’t seem enough. One day when feeling emotional he asked for professional help, and so we supported him to contact the GP.

Given the limited support available via this route, particularly with Covid circumstances I searched for something that I thought may provide the appropriate support he needed, something he would benefit from and would engage with.  My search led me to Allan and I am so glad it did.

I contacted Allan and discussed with him the situation and if it was something he could help with, from the initial telephone conversation I found him very easy to talk to. He agreed that he would be able to help and my son was receptive to the idea.

Allan was very relaxed about the appointments,  making arrangements to meet at a convenient time and place, often late appointments in the early evening to fit in with studies and the practicalities of transporting my son to appointments. Allan and my son organised the appointments between them, it was important for my son to have that independence, as the appointments were for his benefit and not for me to dictate when he should have them. 

From the first appointment my son felt completely at ease talking to Allan, this may have helped because of their shared passion of football! After the first session my son said it had gone well, he had felt the benefit and he would like to continue working with Allan and so he continued to have weekly sessions for approximately 10 weeks. The fact my son came away from the first contact saying how well it had gone, is testament to how at ease Allan made him feel. Even when new lockdown rules were introduced that meant meeting indoors was not allowed,  Allan would meet in the freezing cold to walk and talk.

After the 9th session Allan contacted me to say he felt my son was doing well and that there was no need at this time to continue the weekly sessions, and suggested may be a monthly/six weekly catch up if my son felt the need. 

Although, I have only had limited contact with Allan, I too feel at ease and trusting of him, the fact he does not just carry on with the sessions just for the sake of it. 

As parents we have noticed our son is far more at ease with himself and appears to have a much better understanding of anxiety and how to deal with it. 

‘ Allan has been great with me from day one. Feels like I’ve known him for years, really inspirational listening to everything he’s been through. A great listener and someone who I am comfortable to speak to & would never hesitate to contact if I needed him. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and would definitely recommend to anyone feeling the way I felt. Thanks Allan!’

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