New CEO for Derwent Rural Counselling Service

Janette Smeeton has been appointed as the new CEO of Derbyshire-based charity Derwent Rural Counselling Service.

Her experience and abilities combine high level clinical expertise with business acumen having worked in domestic banking for more than 20 years before training as a therapist.

Janette will lead a team of 70 freelance and employed staff at DRCS which has seen rapid growth and success in the last few years.

It now operates as Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust’s provider of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in Derbyshire and as a qualified provider and partner of Talking Mental Health Derbyshire (TMHD) making it the largest provider of counselling in Derbyshire with above national recovery rates and reduced waiting times.

Janette takes over from former CEO John Saynor who retired from the role this autumn after more than six years at the charity.

Nicola Adams, chair of trustees for the charity said: “Janette is passionate about DRCS and that it’s clients should experience a high quality service that provides the best opportunity for them to achieve a full recovery.

Her work so far at DRCS has given her a clear understanding of the organisation’s needs and challenges, not only in the therapeutic and administrative teams, but also the business as a whole.

The board of trustees is certain Janette will make a hugely influential and positive contribution to our work here. We would also like to thank John Saynor for his fantastic contribution to DRCS.”

Since she joined DRCS just over three years ago, Janette has held a number of roles at the Bakewell-headquartered organisation, including trainer, counsellor, senior counsellor, supervisor and assistant clinical lead with additional responsibilities for safeguarding.

Janette brings extensive experience from her previous appointments in public, health and counselling sectors including both clinical and managerial roles.

Janette said: “I am delighted to take up this exciting challenge. I am passionate about the work we do to improve the lives of everyone affected by mental health issues and it’s a great privilege to lead such an inspiring organisation.

The changing landscape of the NHS and pressures on spending, mean we must keep evolving as an organisation.

It is important that DRCS is a market leader in our sector, that we are the preferred choice in tender processes and that we continue to operate at the cutting edge in our field of expertise.

I believe my many years of experience and knowledge of the charity and counselling sectors will be invaluable for steering us through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

DRCS is the largest provider of counselling services including talking therapies and well being programmes in Derbyshire and the Peak District. It has a 28-year track record of working with individuals suffering from common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions. DRCS also works with businesses and schools.

DRCS operates from bases in Bakewell, Derby, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Long Eaton and Matlock treating people from the Amber Valley, Erewash, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne, Derby, Swadlincote and the Peak District. It also uses GP premises across the region.

Pictured: New CEO Janette Smeeton and DRCS chair Nicola Adams.

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