Rural Lincolnshire is still a little ‘closed’ when it comes to dealing with human sexuality.
So says Jessica Turncroft who has launched a counselling service from a log cabin in Newtoft, just outside Market Rasen. Originally from Northamption, Jessica studied clinical psychology at Lincoln University, before studying further in counselling.
“I always wanted to be my own boss and there are no jobs within the NHS (for counsellors),” she said.
Thus, after renovating a home in Newtoft, she launched Alphabet Counselling in August, which offers support on depression, anxiety, failed relationships and many other problems. But Lesbian, gay and transgender issues are a speciality, helped by Jessica’s own lifestory.
“I’m in a lesbian relationship. I have experienced the struggles, coming out, who you are,” she said.
When she arrived in Lincolnshire in 2008, Jessica noticed it was “almost like going back in time” with people’s attitudes towards race and sexuality compared to her home city. “One of our friends in Market Rasen said she was scared of gay people,” she said.
Jessica has worked with schools and the university, helping students deal with issues like ‘coming out.’
“It’s like a taboo subject. People do not know how to approach it,” she said.
Jessica says it helps to talk about it and then feel better about coming out and accepting who you are.
Market Rasen surgery lacks a counsellor and there is no other LGBT-specialist in Lincolnshire.
Since starting her business, Jessica said she has helped a few clients “with sexuality and transgender issues,” plus “quite a few with depression and anxiety.”
“It’s early days. I’m still trying to get my word out.”