Child therapists based in Sompting shortlisted for national business award

Emma Connor (left) and Suzanne Ryan are up for a national award
Emma Connor (left) and Suzanne Ryan are up for a national award

A pair of therapists who run a social enterprise providing therapy and counselling in schools have been shortlisted as finalists for a national award.

Emma Connor and Suzanne Ryan, the directors of Your Space Therapies based at Sompting Village Primary School in White Styles Road, Sompting, have reached the finals of the National Business Women’s Awards 2018 in the category of Social Impact.

Suzanne, who lives in Brighton, said: “It’s really exciting, we’ve worked so hard.

“We are really passionate about children’s wellbeing and mental health.

“The children and the families and the schools, they are what makes it an amazing job.”

Your Space Therapies had been part of West Sussex County Council’s service since 2004 before the pair turned it into a standalone organisation in 2014.

Run as a social enterprise, its team of 42 child and adolescent therapists works with more than 90 schools in Sussex to provide a counselling and play therapy service for children aged three to 18.

Emma, who lives in Burgess Hill, said being selected for the social impact category was ‘really significant’ to them considering the negativity often surrounding children’s services being ‘swamped’.

She said: “It’s nice it’s acknowledged that we are actively trying to promote change, making our services affordable and accessible.”

The pair said their service was unique because of its holistic approach, working with family members and teachers as well as supporting the young person.

Suzanne said: “Children and young people are being affected more and more by mental health.

“The schools we work with really want to be mental health aware and therapeutic communities.”

As finalists, the pair have been invited to a ceremony at Wembley Stadium in December.

Suzanne said: “Even if we don’t get the award, just to be recognised is really exciting.”

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