Cost of Living Support Icon

Vale Schools and Community Based Counselling Service

If you are worried or concerned about something, there are people you can talk to


Barnardo's banner


Funded by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Barnardo's provides a free, professional and independent counselling service for children and young people aged 10-19 who live or attend school within the Vale of Glamorgan.


Counselling supports children and young people to cope better with personal problems, relationship issues, adverse life events and developmental processes. It offers children and young people the opportunity to explore and understand their problems while developing personal and social resources, coping strategies and psychological resilience.


Counselling is provided via 1:1 sessions to support children and young people with their mental health and emotional well-being. Counsellors are based at all high schools within the Vale of Glamorgan. There is also a Community provision at the Community Enterprise Centre (CEC), Skomer Road, Barry, for Year 6 pupils, non school attenders and for those where school may be a barrier to them accessing this service. 


  •  What is counselling?

    Counselling provides a safe space for children and young people to talk about their life, their feelings and their current situation. It is a source of emotional support that provides them with the ability to talk to someone who is neutral and impartial. The relationship with the counsellor is based on trust and the young person will decide what they want to talk about in the sessions. The counsellor's role is to nurture and support their wellbeing whilst thinking about their safety.


    Counselling is a confidential space for them, however, there are 3 exceptions to complete confidentiality:


    • IF the young person is at risk of harm
    • IF someone the young person knows is at risk of harm
    • IF the young person has information about a crime.


    Be reassured, safety is our priority. We may reach out to the childs parent/carer if we have concerns, however, the contents of the session will remain confidential between the young person and the counsellor.


  •  Who can see a counsellor?

    Our counsellors work with children and young people aged 10-19 who live or attend school within the Vale of Glamorgan. This can be at their high school or at the Community Enterprise Centre on Skomer Road, Barry. 


    Reasons young people might meet with a Counsellor include:


    There are a range of issues we support with but if it is not on this list, we are still able to help.


    • Domestic abuse
    • Anxiety
    • Suicide
    • Transgender
    • Relationships
    • Caring for someone
    • Abuse
    • Eating disorders
    • Finances
    • Illness
    • Self-harm
    • Stress
    • Offending
    • Academic
    • Depression
    • Sexual orientation
    • Anger
    • Self-worth
    • Bullying
    • Substance abuse
    • Family
    • Bereavement
    • Online safety
    • Identity


  •  What support is offered?

    An initial meeting with a qualified counsellor to find out if counselling is the right level of support required.

    Up to six 1-1 sessions to talk about whatever worries or concerns there may be. 


    This is designed to be a solution-focused, short-term intervention.


    In some cases, the counsellor might signpost to a more appropriate agency or organisation but this would be discussed with the young person first. 


  • How do I get to see the Counsellor? 

    Referrals can be made via the website:-




    Referrals can be made by the young person, their parent/carer or a professional by simply clicking on the relevant tab, scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the link to complete a self-referral or parent/carer/professional referral. If completing a referral on behalf of a child, please discuss it with the first and gain their consent.


    The website also has additional information about the service for children, young people, parents/carers and professionals.


    Once the referral is recieved, a counsellor will invite the young person to an assessment session as soon as a space becomes available. If the young person has requested to be seen at school this will be done discreetly to ensure confidentiality. If the young person has requested to be seen within the Community, thecounsellor will normally contact the parent/carer to arrange this.


    Children and young people can also talk to a trusted member of staff at their school. This could be their form tutor, Head of Year or a member of the pastoral care team; they can help them compete an on-line referral or provide a paper referral form that can be posted through a Barnardo's post box at their school.


    Children and young people can make a referral into the service without requiring the consent of their parent/carer. However, for children in Year 6, who would need to access the service within the Community, a parent/carer would bring their child to sessions.


    Need help now? We are not an emergency or crisis service. If you are concerned about your young person, in the first instance contact your GP, for out of hours contact NHS Direct Wales 111. Alternatively, if you feel it is an emergency you can take your young person to your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.



Useful websites

Bereavement and Loss




Disability and Special Learning Needs


Anxiety and Stress




Eating Disorders


Self Harm


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender


General Child Mental Health


Help and Support for Children and Young People Under 19


Prevention of Young Suicide


Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health


Information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people