MEET the new head of fundraising at a North Yorkshire counselling and training centre.

Kennie Cheung, who has recently moved from Hong Kong to Harrogate, is an experienced charity fund-raiser, having worked for Oxfam and the Hong Kong Cancer Fund in her native country.

She has taken on the role at Wellspring Therapy and Training, in the town.

Founded in 2003, Wellspring provides affordable short and long-term counselling for the Harrogate and district community.

Emily Fullarton, the executive director of Wellspring, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have found a new fund-raiser of the calibre of Kennie. Her experience and expertise are just what we need – and I know she will be a real asset to Wellspring.

“There is no doubt that the global pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the mental health of both children and adults across all sections of society. As a result, the demand for our services in the Harrogate area is growing fast, which means we need a pro-active and effective fund-raiser to ensure we have the staff and the resources to keep pace with this demand.

“In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at least once in their lifetime. According to local research, many people in Harrogate assume because it is a ‘nice town’ people don’t struggle with these issues. That simply isn’t true. There is a huge demand in Harrogate for our services and it’s increasing. The NHS, which is responsible for mental health care, simply can’t cope.”

Kennie said: “This is a dream job for me. The political situation in Hong Kong, combined with the fact that our son Samuel is studying at the University of Leeds, meant that we wanted to relocate to England and, in particular, Yorkshire.

“Harrogate is the most wonderful town – and I count myself incredibly blessed to have found a job here, which is suited to my skills and which is so worthwhile. I look forward to making new friends and contacts here and to reach out to individuals and businesses who are keen to help such a brilliant mental health charity like Wellspring.

“Before leaving Hong Kong, I was part of the senior management team at Oxfam Hong Kong, involved in strategy, communications and fund-raising. Prior to that, I spent 20 years with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, focussing primarily on marketing and fundraising.”

Emily said: “Everyone can see that more support is needed in the Harrogate area to cope with the crisis in mental health and Kennie’s appointment will help us achieve this. We need funds to sustain our growing service in order to cope with the rising demand and help those in need.

“What makes Wellspring’s work unique in is that we offer affordable long-term, open-ended counselling where needed. Our clients can choose an amount they feel able to pay, this often as low as £5 or £15 per session. Unfortunately, this type of therapy is not currently widely available from the NHS. Most private counselling typically costs between £45-60 for each session, but many of our clients are unable to afford this.

“We aim to restore hope, develop resilience and facilitate positive change in people’s lives. We are passionate about enabling people to find healing and seeing them move towards emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. We are a charity motivated by Christian faith, but our services are offered to all regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or cultural background and to people of any faith or none and whatever their financial situation.”

“We are specifically looking for people to fundraise for us in autumn 2022 by running the virtual London marathon and the Vitality big half in London. If you are interested in please contact us.

To find out how you can donate to Wellspring, please call Emily or Kennie on 01423 881881 or visit the website