Cath retires

After over 30 years service, firstly when we were the Women's Health Advice Centre (WHAC) then with Cygnus Support, Cath Hale, our Manager, retired on 31st January 2017.  Cath first joined WHAC as a volunteer back in 1986 and became the first paid employee of the organisiation.  The Board of Trustees would like to thank  Cath for all her hard work over the years and wish her well in her retirement.

Cath will be replaced by a new Chief Executive Officer, Claudia Venosa, on 1st March 2017.

Big Lottery Fund Grant Award

We are delighted to announce Cygnus Support has been awarded £496,736  by the Big Lottery Fund, Reaching Communities Fund, to expand services across rural Northumberland. This is a three year project and builds on the success and reputation of the organisation in providing counselling and education services in the county.

Jill Scarr, Chair of Trustees says ‘this is the beginning of an exciting time of change for Cygnus Support as we expand our services to areas of Northumberland with limited access to counselling services. We aim to provide our wellbeing services in community locations to reach those who are socially isolated in terms of both transport links and access to services, especially counselling. We are grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for the award which means we can continue not only with our existing provision but expand into new areas of the county. We are proud of the work that Cygnus Support does in providing women, men and young people from aged 14 with a service that improves their emotional wellbeing and provides them with opportunities to grow in confidence.’

For further information please contact Jill Scarr, Chair of Trustees – Tel 07764 996571


In Memory of Ann Smith

Ann Smith4

Ann Smith, was a volunteer with WHAC for a number of years, she sadly passed away unexpectedly and is a great miss to the organisation.  Ann was a proud wife, mother and grandmother, she loved to travel and we enjoyed hearing about her latest holidays with her husband.  She helped many clients over the years and acted as advocate for several of them who needed a high level of emotional and practical support.

We would like to thank her family and friends who generously donated through the Just Giving page set up by her son in law and at her funeral.  The money raised was £442.05 and will be used to support some of the work she was so passionate about. 

WHAC recently changed its name to Cygnus Support

WHAC receives North East Better Health at Work Continuing Excellence Award

 from Stephen Miller, Paralympian Gold, Silver & Bronze Medallist at Celebration Event at Holiday Inn, Gosforth on 7th February 2013

 Comments from the Assessors:

Excellent portfolio which demonstrated the amazing work carried out by the organisation.  Congratulations to all – we look forward to working with you over the coming year as you continue to pass on the health and wellbeing message to women and their families in the area.

Want to use your experience to help others or learn new skills?

Cygnus Support is a voluntary organisation. We need volunteers!

Volunteers have been helping to run the organisation for more than 25 years, supported by a small team of core staff. Between 2008-2011 33 volunteers gave 4,422 hours of their time to help us deliver services and support.

Cygnus Support provides opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills or develop existing ones in a friendly, supportive environment through accredited training and access to other programmes. 

In the last 10 years more than 100 of our volunteers have gained accredited qualifications, from City and Guilds in IT to MScs in Counselling. Without volunteers we wouldn't be able to offer core services such as counselling, advice and mentoring or manage the day to day running of the centre.

For more information on volunteering with Cygnus Support click here.


Cygnus Support welcomes Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender clients

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