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Counselling director wanted as Rob steps down

RobHoffmanRob Hoffman, director of the well-known Christian-based  4Cs counselling centre in Norwich plans to retire this summer and the search for a successor has started. Here Rob reports on 12 years at the helm.
It was during 1988 that I had a vision for a counselling centre for the church I then attended, Christ Church New Catton. After much testing, this vision became Christ Church Counselling Centre in 1990, in one room of the church hall.
Following the vision, the practicalities of setting up and opening the service was put in the hands of others more qualified and I took no further part until 1994 when I was invited to join the counselling team. Following some training I took on my first client – a very anxious experience.
By 1996 the counselling service had about six counsellors and needed more space. This was a big ask for a church who needed the revenue from the hall. It happened that one of our counsellors attended Oak Grove Chapel and at that time Norwich Youth for Christ, who were based in the Villa at the chapel, moved into the city centre.
The outcome was that the counselling service was offered these rooms. Naturally we accepted and we then had three counselling rooms and an office. The name was changed to the Centre for Christian Care and Counselling (retaining the 4Cs).
Having retired from full-time employment, as an electrical engineer at what was Eastern Electricity, in 1995, I had lots of time to give to the Centre and shortly after the move I became Director as well as a counsellor.
In 1997 we started a counselling service for children, teenagers and families. The service had to credible and well grounded so prior to starting we consulted with the Norfolk Child Protection Co-ordinator and a lot of effort was put into the writing of policies etc.
The service ran successfully till 2005 when, sadly, we could no longer find volunteer counsellors to work in this field. We also briefly provided a parenting group in the late 90s.
We became a becoming a registered charity in 1999. Ever since the early days people referred to us as 4Cs and it was also around this time it was decided to change the name again to 4Cs Counselling Centre.
The counselling team has varied in numbers as well as personnel over the years as you would expect in a voluntary organisation. It reached 18 at one point, but currently stands at 11.
In 2004, Oak Grove Chapel needed the rooms for their own growing work, which meant the huge task of finding a new home for 4Cs. Bearing in mind that at that point we provided counselling for donations only, 4Cs had very little capital.
As God often provides, it was at the eleventh hour before closing that the opportunity to move to our present address in Rosemary Lane was provided by Norwich Central Baptist Church.
It meant a lot of costs which we had not had to face up till then, but so far funding has been made available, firstly through the Church Urban Fund and currently through Mercers Company, Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, Sir Peter Seaman Trust, Aquarius Trust, the Parish of Eaton, St Catherine’s Church and the Yapp Charitable Trust.
4Cs now provides counselling for adults aged 18 and above and, as we have for some years, training for counsellors, including the accreditation training for new counsellors.
So now after 12 years I think it’s time to hand the reins to someone else. It has in general been a very rewarding time for me, having seen many lives helped greatly through the work of the many very skilled counsellors who have been part of the 4Cs story to date, and I am privileged to have been part of that team and part of the story.
If you are interested in the vacancy of Director of Counselling, or know someone who may be then please see the job ad on this site, or contact Rob Hoffman on 01603  766321.


Pictured above is current DIrector of Counselling Rob Hoffman.

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