"An amazing team at Beacon, I’m thankful for all their help and support."

Welcome to Beacon Bolton Counselling Service
Beacon is a well-established counselling service considered a prestigious organisation within the North West counselling network. The fact that it is a registered charity, staffed by volunteers does not detract from it being professional in its administration and procedures. Beacon is an organisational member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).

Our Values

“Enhancing people’s wellbeing and capabilities”
“Improving the quality of relationships
Diversity and inclusion”
“Keeping people safe”


The seeds for Beacon were sown in 1987 thanks to the care and work of its four founder members, Alan Thornton, John Williams, Geoffrey Hargreaves and Sister Mary Jean Robinson. Geoff attended a counselling course at the University of Lancaster then set up training courses in Bolton. Intent on helping people who were in distress and who could not access support, Beacon registered as a charity in 1991 (Charity Number 1002925). Our Aims

1. To alleviate mental and emotional distress by providing free and accessible counselling services for those in need of counselling support.
2. To provide placement opportunities for students working towards professional qualifications thereby ensuring services are sustainable for the future.

Our counselling services are open to people aged 16 or above; there is no upper age limit for counselling at Beacon. We value diversity, promote equality and inclusion.

Organisation size

Starting with four volunteer counsellors, the service grew steadily and is currently supported by 4 Trustees, between 45 and 50 Counsellors, 4 Receptionists, 1 Admin Support and 2 paid members of staff.
Our volunteers’ enable us to provide free services, so it is important to value each person and the time they give. Doing so helps us to continue to provide much needed local support.


For a number of years, Beacon operated from two sites, one for daytime and the other for evening counselling. Thanks to support from Bolton CVS, all operations transferred to The Bolton Hub in September 2015. In 2016, work began on a purpose built counselling suite; officially launched by Counsellor Linda Thomas in May 2017.


Organisation structure reviews took place in 2010 and again in 2018. The latter informed a decision to convert from an unincorporated charity to a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This limits the liability Trustees would otherwise face in an unincorporated charity. The conversion was also an opportunity to extend our reach within the North West. Our new Charity Number is 1181596.
Beacon continues to provide one to one services for people from Bolton. We also offer Group therapies to people from the North West.

If you would like us to send you a copy of our latest Annual Report, please contact us on 01204 546100 or email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org quoting “Request Latest Annual Report” in the subject line.

Contact us

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Beacon Bolton Counselling Service
The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, Bolton. BL1 1LS
Telephone: 01204 546100
Email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org

Registered Charity: CIO Number 1181596