Nottingham Counselling

Nottingham Counselling Service (NCS) is a long-standing charity specialising in working long-term with people who present complex and enduring problems, such as anxiety, depression and abuse.

3 years
Cost of capital
Amount invested
Product type
Unsecured loan (incl. overdrafts)


Mental illness costs the UK economy £120 billion, with one in four adults experiencing a mental health problem every year. Despite the challenges this poses, organisations providing mental health support services have struggled with the reductions in public sector spending.


Nottingham Counselling Service (NCS) specialises in working long-term with people who present complex and enduring problems, such as anxiety, depression and abuse. Its ethos is that good mental wellbeing should not be restricted by circumstance or background. It provides inclusive and accessible counselling at a cost that reflects the economic circumstance of the client. The approach is people centric: people can self-refer without their GP. It is also unique in that the number of sessions available are unlimited, to accommodate those with long-term or multiple issues.

NCS needed to adjust to the changing market place as historic grants dried up following the economic crisis.


NCS accessed a £30k unsecured loan to bridge the funding gap caused by the drying up of NCS’s traditional funding streams. The loan is being repaid through payments for counselling from the Local Health Authority, local businesses, some individual paying clients and room hire.


Social investment helped NCS through its initial transition from dependence to semi-independence, moving from being heavily reliant on grant funding from the NHS and Local Authorities, to out commissioning a lot of its services. The loan allowed them to recruit a development worker to diversity income and move into a contracting culture.

It allowed NCS to invest in its online vision and develop its digital capabilities; NCS recently relaunched a website and online self-referral form, reporting a significant increase in the number of referrals. The team is currently scaling operations as it forecasts demand will continue to be high.


We were blown away with the volume of people accessing the services from NCS. The amount of impact they were generating was such that it ideal organisation for us invest in. The team were experienced and incredibly committed to the continued success of their organisation.

Matt Smith, CEO - The Key Fund



Key Fund’s mission is to provide the right kind of money at the right time, supporting the development and growth of a sustainable and impactful community and social enterprises that are unable to secure support from elsewhere.