Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS) is a thriving charity providing training and counselling services to the communities of Gloucestershire. Our headquarters are in the centre of Stroud which has been home to GCS since our inception in 1978. We deliver counselling services both from our counselling rooms based around the county and remotely as well as training in counselling skills and counselling qualifications.
Meet our Trustees
Kath Rooksby is a dedicated professional in the health and social care sector, making her a valuable Trustee for the Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS). With a diverse career that began at the Alzheimer’s Disease Society, Kath has excelled in her roles and gained global healthcare experience through voluntary work. Equipped with an MSc in Health and Social Care Leadership, she has spearheaded service user involvement in Mental Health Services and played a pivotal role in establishing the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Kath’s leadership in the South West Palliative and End of Life Strategic Clinical Network showcases her commitment to improving care for individuals facing end-of-life challenges. With extensive experience and a passion for mental health, Kath brings invaluable insights and expertise to the GCS in her role as Chair, supporting the organisation’s mission of providing high-quality counselling services and promoting well-being in Gloucestershire.
Nigel Brabbins brings a a wealth of commercial business expertise to GCS. With a career spanning 35 years, Nigel has held executive positions in various industries and demonstrated his leadership abilities. His background includes executive roles in logistics, distribution, promotional merchandise, security services, and IT/software companies, where he specialized in leveraging new technologies for service delivery. Nigel’s experience in utilizing technology to improve service delivery aligns with GCS’s mission of providing accessible and effective counselling services. As a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Nigel’s governance and leadership expertise are valuable assets in his role as a Trustee.
Nicola de Longh
Nicola de Iongh is a passionate advocate for social transformation, education, and well-being as a Trustee for the Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS). As the Chair of Council at the University of Gloucestershire, she champions the power of education to make a positive impact. Nicola also holds key positions in organisations such as the Gloucestershire Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust and Connexus Housing, contributing to healthcare and affordable housing initiatives. In the private sector, she chairs the Reference Committee for the Premier Miton UK Responsible Investment Fund, emphasizing her commitment to responsible practices. With a background in finance and extensive experience as a management consultant, Nicola brings valuable insights to the GCS.
Jim qualified in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1989. After Junior Doctor training, he qualified in psychiatry and has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Gloucestershire since 1997. Later in his career, he worked in a variety of medical management roles before retiring, as an Associate Medical Director, in early 2020. Since then he has returned to work part time for the local NHS as well as running a consultancy business and undertaking other medical roles.
Jim is an advocate for counselling and brings to GCS a broad knowledge of mental illness, an understanding of the local NHS and experience in clinical governance.
Rachel Poynor has over a decade of experience in the charity sector. Her roles in project management, service development, and fundraising have spanned various causes, including end-of-life care, criminal justice, homelessness, and eating disorders. Rachel’s first-hand training and personal experiences have given her a deep understanding of the transformative power of counselling. She is also passionate about developing robust monitoring and evaluation processes in charitable organisations.
Edward Weir brings with him a diverse background in the public and charity sectors. Currently serving as the Strategic Business Manager for Severn Health Primary Care Network, Edward brings a wealth of expertise in strategy, operations, and people management. His previous role as a Director at the Royal College of Physicians showcased his exceptional abilities in driving organisational growth and efficiency. Edward’s training as a systems psychodynamic Executive Coach gives him a unique perspective on organizational dynamics. He resides in Stroud with his family and is deeply committed to supporting the GCS and its vital work.
Sam Clark-Stone is a highly accomplished mental health professional with a remarkable 44-year career in psychiatry and a background as a mental health nurse, Sam brings extensive experience and expertise to his role. He currently serves as the Lead Clinician for the Gloucestershire all-age Eating Disorders Service, showcasing his specialized knowledge in this critical area. Sam actively engages with the mental health community, including his involvement in the Co-Counselling community in Bristol and group therapy. His leadership and organizational skills, along with his national positions such as Chair of the British Eating Disorders Society, contribute to enhancing mental health services and improving treatment outcomes.
With a career of more than two decades spanning several government departments, Hannah is a dedicated Civil Servant. An experienced Director, she specialises in leading large teams delivering cutting edge technologies. Hannah is passionate about inclusion, diversity and equity. Dedicated to employee wellbeing and with personal experience of counselling, she is a strong supporter of GCS’s mission to provide affordable counselling. Having held board positions in two other organisations she is excited to be bringing her experience to GCS as a Trustee.