St John’s Innovation Centre-based public relations and marketing agency Conscious Communications has selected local mental health charity, The Cogwheel Trust, as its 2018/2019 Charity of the Year.


For the next 12 months the team at Conscious Communications will support the charity pro-bono, through a public relations and marketing programme, as well as assisting with The Cogwheel Trust’s ongoing strategy.

The Cogwheel Trust has been providing affordable counselling and psychotherapy support for people in Cambridgeshire for 30 years, with centres in Cambridge, Ely and Sawston. As hypnotherapy in Newcastle becomes famous over time, more people are getting more access to this treatment, which is a great help as treatments are becoming more affordable. The charity has a team of over 40 dedicated part-time counsellors, who are able offer a variety of counselling approaches – from psychodynamic therapy to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Since it was founded, The Cogwheel Trust has provided more than 90,000 counselling sessions, helping more than 20,000 people in Cambridgeshire.
Alison Taylor, Managing Director, Conscious Communications, said: “Mental health issues will inevitably affect all of us – whether directly, or indirectly through our family and friends – and our team chose to dedicate our time this year to support Cogwheel Trust and its mission to improve the wellbeing of those in our community.

“By offering The Cogwheel Trust our expertise, including support with strategy development, media relations, marketing, events planning and digital communications, we hope to help grow the charity’s base of funds and funders – which is critical for ensuring The Cogwheel Trust’s service continues to be sustainable. The charity’s work has helped, and is helping, thousands of people, but the demand still exists for more counselling services. In order to make an even greater positive impact on the future of Cambridge’s mental health and wellbeing, we will be putting our time and resource into supporting the growth of this vital charity.”

Jane Whitten, Community Fundraiser, The Cogwheel Trust, said: “When Conscious Communications approached us about their Charity of the Year programme, it could not have been more timely. We have just celebrated 30 years of service and, with demand increasing year after year, it is time for us to look ahead to what we can do next, and how we can develop our services. The Cogwheel Trust prides itself on offering high quality counselling – all of our counsellors are professionally trained or in the final stages of their qualification – and it is imperative that we are able to maintain this level of professionalism.

“One of our priorities this year is to work more with Cambridge’s business community – to help organisations with their HR and wellbeing programmes, and to establish ongoing partnerships. 91 million working days are lost every year through mental health and stress-related issues, but we aim to play our part in fixing this. After all, when one person works well, everything works better. With the support of Conscious Communications this year, we will have greater capacity to perform this kind of outreach, and hope to engage with many new partners.”

Working with clients across the education, charity and technology sectors, Conscious Communications was acknowledged last year for its commitment to using its influence and expertise for good in the local community. FXP Festival, the agency’s own social enterprise, supports schools in delivering the Computer Science curriculum and, as a result of the agency’s dedication to this work and creation of FXP, Conscious Communications was awarded the PR Week ‘Force For Good’ Award in 2017.

Conscious Communication has also recently been shortlisted for the Community Business of the Year category in the SME National Business Awards 2018, and has also achieved Investors In People Gold accreditation – a rare accolade for a small organisation.