When Josh couldn’t find a counselling service to help disabled young people ... he set up his own

A charity founded by a former pupil of the Craighalbert Centre in Dullatur aims to help physically disabled young people to reach their potential.

TalkTime Scotland founder Josh Hepple celebrates graduating with a Law degree from Stirling University with his mum Seonaid

TalkTime Scotland was set up by Josh Hepple, who has cerebral palsy, in 2014 to celebrate his graduation from Stirling University with a degree in Law.

Josh, who attended Craighalbert from 1991-96, wanted to create a unique free specialist counselling service for young people aged 12-25 who are physically disabled or have long-term health conditions.

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The Leith-based charity offers weekly one-to-one counselling sessions with qualified professionals, initally these were face-to-face, but for those who would prefer not to or are unable to travel, can now be done through Skype or by phone from anywhere in the country.

His mum Seonaid said: “Josh struggled to fit in at a mainstream secondary school and they said he would have really benefited from the support of an independent counsellor, but sadly nothing like that was available.

“At the time we had very low expectations of what Josh would achieve in life due to the severity of his disability so it is all the more remarkable that he went on to study Law at Stirling University.

“The graduation was a very special event for our family and we were so proud when he then went on to set up a national charity to support other young disabled people.

“We are the first, and we believe only charity in Scotland, and young people can now access free counselling from any part of the country via Skype or telephone.

“We believe that it helps to talk to someone in confidence who will not judge you or tell you what to do, but just listen and help you come to terms with your personal issues.”

For more information visit www.talktimescotland.co.uk, email [email protected] or call/text on 07774 210104.

The service is totally free, although anyone wishing to support the charity can make a donation through Paypal – link can be found on the website.