Following a family tragedy, husband and wife team, Mike and Beverley Donohue decide to change careers and move into counselling. They begin offering some therapeutic services at the University of Hull and the Probation Service, with Mike delivering the counselling and Beverley taking care of the administration.
Mike and Beverley move into premises at Hull’s Premier House and begin providing our first employee assistance programmes to the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Tragically, Mike passes away in late 1998. Determined to keep the business going, Beverley teams up with therapist Peter Palumbo and small team of counsellors.
As the business continues to grow and take on a number of employee assistance contracts, Beverley and Peter form Focus Counselling Services (Hull) Limited. They expand their team of counsellors at Premier House to meet the increased demand for Focus’ services.
Focus continues to expand, winning contracts to deliver employee assistance programmes to most of Hull’s public sector organisations. Due to outgrowing our space in Premier House, Hull MP Alan Johnson opens our first dedicated counselling centre, The Focus Centre in Hull’s Kingston Square, a quiet corner of Hull City centre. This continues to be our main counselling venue and head office today.
Focus begins delivering introductory counselling qualifications and the University Foundation Award, an A level equivalent qualification that provides students with a route into higher education and formal counsellor training.
Due to the success of our counselling courses, we design our own degree programme which is accredited as a Foundation Degree by the University of Hull. The course runs until 2015, supporting many of our students to graduate and become professional counsellors. Around 30 of our Graduates work for Focus today.
Focus is successful at becoming one of the key providers of IAPT services in Hull, the Let’s Talk Depression & Anxiety Service, in conjunction with City Healthcare Partnership CIC. We are now able to offer our talking therapies, free of charge, to anybody living in Hull.
Due to major growth as a result of Let’s Talk, Alan Johnson opens our second centre in Hull. The Kingston Centre is even larger, enabling us to offer an increased range of services which cements Focus’ position as one of the foremost providers of talking therapies in the area.
Our services continue to experience high demand, so we take on our third centre, Focus at 406 on Southcoates Lane in East Hull. Our new centre enables us to provide an increased range of quality services, accessible to the people of East Hull and the surrounding area.