Wokingham Borough Council launches free counselling service for young people

Wokingham Borough Council has today announced the launch of ‘Kooth’, a free online counselling and emotional well-being support service for its younger residents aged 11 to 18 years. 

Working in partnership with Berkshire West CCG, West Berkshire Council and Brighter Futures for Children service, the council are reaching out to young people across the borough to offer them emotional support through digital counselling. Kooth, a service delivered by XenZone, provides young people a safe and secure means of accessing support from a professional team of qualified counsellors, therapists and support workers who provide guided, outcome-focused help for each individual. It also provides moderated, scheduled forums and self-help articles, many written by service users, to provide peer led and self-help support.  

“It is important for us to offer our young people emotional support through this valuable online project, especially during these unprecedented times,” said UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services. “There are no referrals, thresholds or waiting lists and young people can access this service anonymously by signing onto the Kooth website. This service will to reduce waiting times for young people seeking help while helping to remove the stigma around mental health and accessing services”.  

Award winning online counselling service Kooth has been accredited by The British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling (BACP).  Founded in 2001, they are leading pioneers of online counselling in the UK, having won a number of prestigious awards. The website provides a unique out of office hours’ provision and is open 7 days per week, 365 days a year from noon until 10pm weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on Saturday and Sundays.  For further details please visit

Read More
Cartoon Christmas tree

Christmas events in Woodley town centre cancelled

The Woodley Town Centre Management Initiative has taken the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Christmas events due to the COvid 19 restrictions and guidelines. 

For further information or to discuss with the town centre manager, Brian Fennelly, please email:

Read More
recycling wokingham woodley

Potential new changes to recycling across Wokingham borough

Wokingham Borough Council is considering bringing in weighted, water-proof sacks for its kerbside recycling collection to help keep paper and card dry.

Changes in the world market for recycled material have meant that wet paper and card is no longer being accepted by recycling plants – which is hitting the borough’s recycling rates and causing significant environmental and financial cost.

With the council committed to increasing its already good recycling rate, its decision making executive will this Thursday (July 30) consider approving the upfront funding necessary for a potential solution – the replacement of the current black boxes used for kerbside recycling, with waterproof and weighted hessian sacks. There would be no other change to the recycling service.

Executive member for environment Cllr Parry Batth said: “Wet paper and card is currently reducing our overall recycling rate by about 6%, which has an environmental and financial impact. We have looked at all the options available and found these sacks are the best option. They are water-proof, robust and are weighted down so they will not blow away. The sacks have a slightly larger capacity than the black bins and residents would not be limited in how many of them they have – so there will be no need to overfill them or for them to get too heavy.”

The council has considered other options such as lidded bins or ‘shower caps’ that could be fitted over bins but following a study commissioned from independent experts, these were found to be less effective overall in terms of factors such as impact on recycling rates and carbon emissions and cost.

In the longer term the council will consider other options to increase recycling such as wheelie bins but these could not be introduced with the current fleet of vehicles available and so are not a viable option in the short / medium term.

Cllr Batth added: “We have to work with what is possible. Some residents like the idea of wheelie bins and others don’t – but that is an issue for the future because they could not be practically introduced in the borough with our current contract and fleet of vehicles. We believe the weighted, waterproof sacks are the best way to go to solve the immediate problem we face.”

Read More
Skip to content