Counselling and support service celebrating three decades

The organisation has been helping borough residents for 30 years.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:22 pm

The Willow Project is marking its 30th anniversary this week and is also planning a celebration event for later this summer when Covid-19 restrictions have hopefully been eased.

The organisation was founded by Mary Appleton in 1991 to support women in the borough affected by either their own or a loved one’s drinking. It became a registered charity and expanded its services to help young people aged between 11 and 19.

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Liz Dudley, Karen Little and Sadie Little from The Willow Project

The Willow Project, which is now headquartered in Atherton, thanked its teams of volunteers for their support and everyone in the borough who had stepped up to assist with its services over the first 30 years of its work.

Charity manager Karen Little said: “Having been involved for 11 years I am extremely proud to be the charity manager as we celebrate 30 years of supporting the people of Wigan borough.

“We wouldn’t be celebrating such a momentous milestone without the involvement of everyone who has ever been associated with Willow Project.

“We have had many ups and downs over the years, and almost shut completely at one point, but with the dedication of the staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters, we have gone from strength to strength with expansion of the service that we provide.

“None of this would be possible without the generosity of the community, our partners, funders, donors and fund-raisers.”

The Willow Project now offers counselling services to children and young people aged from six to 19, therapeutic support groups, online live chat support on the website and counselling for the parents and carers of the young people that come through the doors.

The charity also runs counselling services in schools, does training sessions, runs a mental health blog and organises external workshops.

The organisation is now looking forward to hosting a public event to mark the 30th anniversary, with hopes to stage it in August.

Confirmed activities for the day include massages, food workshops, dance classes and motivational speakers.

The rest of the programme is currently being kept under wraps while the charity finalises the details.

For more details about the charity, visit

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