Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS)

Gloucestershire Counselling Service provides high quality, individual and couples Counselling and Training at an affordable cost to the people of Gloucestershire and surrounding areas.

How we helped

About the organisation
Gloucestershire Counselling Service provides high quality, individual and couples Counselling and Training at an affordable cost to the people of Gloucestershire and surrounding areas.

The challenge
GCS is a well-respected local charity. In recent years, its turnover and reputation among commissioners, funders and other charitable and for-profit organisations has grown. However, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, it has experienced a surge in demand for its services that has put its dedicated and loyal staff under unsustainable pressure. In addition, despite making swift and significant practical adaptations in the way it delivers its services, the increased demand looks set to continue, bringing uncertainty over the financial sustainability of the charity’s existing operational model.  When GCS contacted Penleaf, it was clear the organisation had reached a crossroads.

The role of Penleaf
GCS commissioned Jenny at Penleaf to undertake an organisation review and help guide the senior leadership team through the process of making the necessary difficult strategic choices that would enable change. 


“We found that bringing in Jenny as an external consultant enabled us to tackle some of the more difficult questions around mission that we had been avoiding. In so doing, she helped defuse some of the tensions that had previously prevented us from moving forward with an agreed strategy and direction. Jenny worked with us individually and as a group, and over a period of several months ensured each person’s concerns were addressed fairly and openly, and above all with sensitivity. As a result, we discovered we could agree to shared values and objectives, and this has brought the senior leadership team together again as team.”

Emma Griffiths, Chief Executive, GCS

What we do

Katie Parker, Community Partnerships Manager, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust

'Jenny brings great insight and clarity to any project or programme she is working on. She is able to engage and collaborate across organisations and systems, and lead with clear values and integrity. An articulate communicator and a valued colleague, Jenny brings depth, knowledge, experience and most importantly compassion and humanity to everything she does.’

Peter Maynard, Practice Business Manager, Horfield Health Centre, Bristol

‘Jenny has the rare skill of being able to distil down difficult and complex matters into logical and succinct reports, so that I always feel I have enough information to allow me to question, debate and decide what to do. The fact she does all the above with good humour and grace is just the icing on the cake.’

Peter Gibbons Chief Security Officer, Network Rail

The ethics and values Graham brought to Network Rail represented a clear change to a more compassionate and engaged senior team, which really helped me develop our capability in my particular area of the business.

Siobahn Ritchie, Resourcing Business Partner, Network Rail

Graham is one of the most collaborative, authentic, approachable, and inspiring leaders I have met. I am grateful that I had the chance to work with him.

General Counsel

I have huge respect and admiration for Graham. Definitely the first time in my 12 years I found an exec to be completely approachable and treat everyone the same.



Things we care about

Join our mission for change at ‘The Boiling Frog’ – a community blog for and about small and
medium-sized charities, and their role in society today.
Written and curated by Jenny Hopkins, a Penleaf director.

© 2024 Penleaf Limited. All rights reserved.
A private limited company registered in England and Wales no. 11661250
Registered Office: Dyer House, 3 Dyer Street, Cirencester GL7 2PP