Our news is your news….


26-07-23 2 Hour Anxiety Workshop At Local Dental Practice

I was delighted to facilitate a 2 hour anxiety workshop at New Street Dental Practice  last week. http://new street dental practice andoverThe session was very interactive and saw staff doing a mini quiz on anxiety, followed by a presentation, then a creative piece that showed what is within our control and and what is not.

We had some good conversations throughout the session, with team members sharing their own  personal stories of their anxiety and how they overcome it.

I think it is fabulous that a local company is really invested in the health and well-being of their staff!


18th February 2023 TED Talk Croydon Education without walls

TEDx Education without walls

So over at the TLC Hub I was very excited to attend my first TEDx talk in Croydon. The 6 inspirational guests speakers from all walks of life, spoke in their 20 minute slots about education without walls.

I was there to support a good friend of mine Jordan Wylie MBE, who is a multiple  Guinness World record holder, extra-ordinary fund raiser and an extreme adventurer. 

Jordan’s wonderful talk was about trying to find balance with outdoor and indoor learning. Trying to make education fun and exciting, whilst realising that everyone learns differently and at a different pace.

Unfortunately in the germ phobic society we find ourselves in today children seemed to have forgotten how to play, how to get wet and muddy and to make all their senses come alive. The children of today will be known as the glass age children because the only way they know how to communicate is through glass, phones, tablets, and X-Box computer screens. 

The TEDx speakers all brought something different to the auditorium but the one message that became apparent, is there are many ways to learn! Children need to be given choices and chances to express either their creative, artistic, musical, sporting or academic way of being that is intrinsic only to them. Unfortunately at the moment the one size fits all educational system is still very much in existence!

I see a lot of neurodiverse clients over at the hub and the common thread with this particular sector of society, is that the archaic school system failed them badly as it did myself!

We need more talks like these, we need people in a position of power to sit up and take note that the one size fits all approach to education is outdated. In a modern society we are aiming to seek inclusion, equality and fairness. 

Awareness = Choice = Change


Not so January Blues?

Hub Director Nicky Bates in front of the Northern Lights

So over at the TLC Hub I was able to achieve a childhood dream of mine by seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland this January with my family.

I’d had held this image in my minds eye since I was a young child. I enjoyed immensely reading Christmas letters JRR Tolkien sent to his children each year, with escapades of the naughty polar who one year turned off the Northern Lights. Fast forward 40+ years and I was able to stand under, and almost touch one of natures most awe inspiring phenomenon.

What is fascinating though, is in England we moan and groan about the lost daylight hours predominantly from November-March and suffering from SAD. In Iceland the Icelandic people only have 4-5 hours a daylight each day.

I asked a young climbing leader what they do to combat those long dark days and nights, and he said they all have a hobby or take up a sport to get them through the winter. Want to know more about Seasonal Affective Disorder and how this may affect you click here…


Be the difference that makes a differencewe left behind some hope!

The Terres De Extreme Expedition Team, Teachers & Children at As-Eyla School Djibouti November 2022

How it all began

We headed off the four of us from Andover to Heathrow airport on a cold unremarkable November day. What we could not have possibly known back then sat in the departure lounge, was that we were embarking on a trip of a lifetime. Or more importantly a trip that was going to become life changing for most of us involved!

8 hrs later stepping off the plane into the very warm African sunshine, I felt a real sense of excitement of what this trip had in store. Little did I know that I, along with the rest of the team would be leaving behind a sense of hope to a small village in the middle of the African desert!

As-Eyla sits 3 miles from the Ethiopian border and approximately 99 miles from Djibouti City. This inspiring story starts with the vision of one-man, the very humble Jordan Wylie. Jordan made a promise to a young lad to build him a school and 4 years later in 2021 he did just that!

Due to Jordan’s amazing fund-raising achievements, he single handily paddle boarded around the UK in extreme often brutal conditions. His valiant efforts raised the vital funds that were needed for the school to be built. Our group of 12 volunteers from all walks of life were the first to go out and see the finished result. The trip had so many pinch me moments and highlights that we stay we me for a lifetime.

One of my personal highlights was working with Rhianna, a young, gifted artist who must take all the credit for having the vision of creating the stunning rainbow. With some cord from an unused mosquito net and a pencil tied to it, Rhianna skilfully and painstakingly drew the arcs in 37+ degree heat! It was a real joy to see the rainbow starting to take shape.

The painting team were inside mixing the colours to the right consistency for the rainbow paint to go onto the wall. I think you will agree the result is absolutely stunning!

So how did we leave behind some hope?

For months we had been planning, fundraising, making school packs, making jewellery, collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste, (courtesy of the very generous New Street Dental Practice t-shirts, book bags, caps, again very kindly donated by a local company Stitch A Logo and a huge variety of other resources to take out to a very unsuspecting community.

During the pandemic, as well as the weekly clapping, we used rainbows to signify hope to support and encourage our amazing frontline workers. Fast forward nearly three years and we were able to leave some hope behind in the form of a rainbow for the children, teachers and community of As-Eyla! The outstanding thing is that all the children I worked with had never seen a rainbow let alone drawn one!

The rainbow is an iconic symbol biblical even, in the bible, a rainbow is the symbolism of covenant and making promises. You will find out that God used the rainbow to make a promise to Noah after the flood. Many will also associate rainbows with art as it’s something often used early in life when learning to draw, paint, or colour and rainbows are also an excellent example that is used to teach children about different colour. It has been used in songs telling us that dreams really will come true!

For the LGBTQ+ community the rainbow symbol demonstrates equality and diversity which is represented by the unification of the colours of the rainbow.

For me when setting up the TLC Counselling Hub I chose the rainbow to signify hope- and remembering my why- and what that represented to me and my personal journey. An appearance of a rainbow after a dark time in someone’s life, is often said to act as a sign of a new beginning and offers hope and promise of a brighter future ahead.

The Creative Team Rhianna & Nicky leaving behind some hope!

Being at the school with all those beautiful, happy, smiling faces was what the trip was all about for me. I felt alive, human in a very humbling human moment!


I decided to take out 150 rainbow bear necklaces

What else did we get up to o this amazing expedition?

Yes, without doubt we all had an amazing time at the school, but there was also the ‘Terres De Extreme’ part to this expedition we also:

  • got to swim with whale sharks and take part in an important marine study.
  • did a beach clear up on the beautiful desolate but plastic strewn beaches.
  • got to dive, snorkel paddleboard in beautiful unseen/unspoilt turquoise seas
  • Slept outside on the boat and gazed up at the stars
  • Visited to Lac Assal ‘the honey sea’ third saltiest lake on the planet and boy it did it sting the eyeballs! lac http://lac assal
  • 3+hour desert trek in 38-degree heat complete with camels, singing and team work!
  • Early morning buggy ride to watch the sunrise in the very beautiful but dystopian Lac Abbe http://lac abbe
  • Desert survival session- doing it the local way.
  • Agroforestry regeneration project. We also had the privilege to plant a tree at the Neem Farm in memory of loved ones and personalise a stone to leave at our tree.
  • Basket weaving with the ladies of the community at the Neem Farm.
  • participate in a very closely run footy match with the community in attendance
  • Dance with the local teenagers one evening- glow sticks were a huge hit (thanks Lee)
  • A tour of the beautiful Neem Farm and all it has to offer
  • And much much more!
Planting a tree at the Neem Farm was a very significant moment for us.

I guess the one thing I will take from this life changing expedition, is the people. The people I met along the way from all walks of life. I believe we all came away with a sense of purpose, fulfilment personal achievements and most importantly hope for the future.

Hard at work Jordan Wylie Extreme Adventurer & Team Leader

It’s not too late to support this or many of the other wonderful projects that Frontline Children organisation are involved in. As the big fella says, ‘be the difference that makes a difference’!

“Children are ultimately the innocent victims of war, and we must do everything we can to help” – Jordan Wylie

Ambassador, Frontline Children

Its Expedition Time!

The TLC Counselling Hub is delighted to announce that in November, myself and 12 others are travelling to Djibouti for a week to undertake a few tasks, from working on a farm, an impact study within a school that has recently been built, and whale shark monitoring (might even get the chance to scuba dive with them hope so as really want to complete dive number 40! )

The school built out in Djibouti is for students aged 4-8 years old, and there are about 100 students. The school was built from the funds raised by the amazing Jordan Wylie, who launched the Great British Paddle in 2020. He was ground-breaking by paddle boarding around the UK in very difficult often dangerous conditions. But did it he did, and the proceeds built the very well needed school for frontline children

It’s not too late to donate and get behind this amazing chance in a lifetime expedition.

This trip has been organised by Frontline Children a charity run by volunteers.

The TLC Counselling Hub is proud to be a joint sponsor of this years the Pride of Andover Awards.

The Inspiring Others Award is an extremely popular category, the Inspiring Others Award recognises an individual who through the exceptional nature of their actions has inspired others to overcome barriers to their own achievement. R&B Industrial and TLC Counselling Hub have joined to sponsor this category for 2022.

At The Pride of Andover Awards recent launch event, Nicky Bates owner of TLC Counselling Hub shared: ”This year TLC Counselling Hub and R&B Industrial Ltd decided to joint sponsor the Inspiration Award Category, personally for me having won this award last year and having attended The Pride of Andover Awards, a great event, where it is great to see so many people in one room having so much fun, a fantastic event that I wanted to be able to sponsor this year, after discussing with my husband (the Director of R&B Industrial) we decided it would be great to join together and sponsor this fantastic award” Anna from R&B Industrial Ltd added: ” We would love for people to be nominating the fantastic people who done amazing things within Andover, nominations are open until the 31st August, make sure you get your nominations in”

The Pride of Andover Awards honours the town’s exceptional unsung heroes, recognising the inspiring and often selfless actions of Andover’s most generous individuals, the people who make such a big difference to so many lives, without realising the positive impact their actions make.

For more information about The Pride of Andover Awards, including this year’s sponsors and award categories, please visit

TLC & RB Combined Logo
Inspiring Award Sponsors

The TLC Counselling Hub is so very proud to have helped 3 young people back into education doing courses that are the right fit for them!

I have to say one of my proudest achievements to date apart from winning an award last year, has been getting 3 very fabulous young people back into college or university. They came to me with either crippling anxiety, depression or overwhelming intrusive thoughts.

By using a variety of creative mediums and building a strong therapeutic alliance over the course of several months we were able to achieve staggering results.

We had massive personal break throughs which gave these individuals the capacity and confidence to believe in themselves again, apply to college and universities and enrol on courses that previously would have been pipe dreams.

These individuals had either been written off by society or didn’t fit into a world that didn’t understand them. I’m so honoured they walked through the hub door all those months ago!

So, what have we been up to over the last few months?

The TLC Hub has had a busy few months I have seen an increasing number of teenagers and young adults accessing my services. I was delighted back in the summer when all the young people I have been supporting passed either their GCSEs or A levels. It was an incredibly stressful time for these teenagers, but they all passed, and they are either off to college or university as their counsellor I could not be prouder It really is good to talk!

26-10-21 Pride of Andover Award Night

It was a glittering award evening to celebrate the local unsung heroes of Andover. The 15th celebratory evening was held at the Lights Theatre in central Andover. Nicky was absolutely honoured and delighted to be nominated by three people in the town and selected as a finalist in this years prestigious event. To anyone outside the town these awards mean nothing, to anyone in the town they mean everything!

Nicky was nominated for the Heart of Gold award category as she offered free counselling to 9+ residents of Andover during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was also fundamental in helping set up and recruit the hordes of volunteers for the Andover Isolation Group who also won an award that night. Whilst also shopping and collecting prescriptions for the shielding groups in the town. Nicky said on the night ‘ I like/love people and if you have a skill set and we are short why not use it’!

Having volunteered at the Pride of Andover for the last 10 years and having seen a whole host of amazing finalists and winners, Nicky would much rather be behind the scenes than in the limelight.

The awards now sit pride of place in the TLC Counselling Hub counselling room for Nicky and her clients to look enjoy.

25-10-21 Everything in one place…

I am so delighted to have all my published article from the Counselling Directory all safely stored in one place. Head over to the link if you fancy a browse..

We do love a special delivery….

06-10-21 The TLC Hub has reached over 1000 client hours!

Delighted to have reached our 1000 client hour in September…

Over at the TLC Hub director Nicky Bates was absolutely thrilled to have accrued her 1000 client hour in September. Nicky remembers so vividly her very first client hour with Andover Mind. Never in her wildest dreams dreams did she think she would reach this target so quickly. Nicky takes great pride in her work with her clients, and sees it as an honour for every hour that she has with them!

06-10-21 Woweee 4th Article Published!

4th Article Published

We are absolutely delighted over at the TLC Hub to have our 4th article published with the Counselling directory. Hub director Nicky Bates has been working a lot with clients recently on the different masks they wear. Nicky believes true authenticity, and being your true authentic self is key to a fulfilling future. Click the link below to read the latest article.

04-05-21 When are the TLC’s Doors Opening again??

The TLC Counselling Hub have decided to be cautious in rushing back to face-to-face counselling for the time being. Having worked very successfully online for over a year, the Hub’s director Nicky Bates, who has also been working as a Covid-19 vaccinator locally, has decided to put the grand opening on hold for now.

Nicky and her clients have adjusted amazingly well to working on a variety of online platforms. Who knew that counselling online would be so effective. Nicky has particularly enjoyed meeting the pets, babies and seeing some clients more at ease in their own surroundings!

Sometimes taking a more laid back approach is the key to moving forwards…

18-03-21 So What have I been up to? Supporting those who have been supporting others!

Since early January I have been offering free counselling to two Frontline 19 workers. It was brought to my attention that these workers following the current Covid-19 pandemic, were, whilst supporting others, really struggling with their own mental health and well being. As an ex-nurse I know only too well the pressures and stresses this type of job can create. Nothing however, could prepare anyone of the emotional toll the pandemic would take. It is important for me in these difficult times to support these essential pillars of our community!


We are delighted to have been offering free counselling to two Frontline 19 workers since January

10-02-21 Wowee 700 Hours and Counting!

We are delighted to have accrued over 700 client hours!

Over at the TLC Counselling hub last week we were ecstatic to have reached over 700 hundred client hours. If we equate that to days that is nearly 30 24hr days sat in the therapy chair. The Hubs Director Nicky Bates couldn’t be more proud of the Hub’s success, and is looking forward to gaining accreditation in the next few months.

So What Have been up to over the last Few Months??

As we all aware we entered Lock-down 3 on the 4th of January just when we should have been going back to work and school after the Christmas hols. We didn’t let Lock-down 3 dampen our spirits and Nicky the TLC Hub founder dusted off her old nursing sisters uniform and retrained as a Covid-19 Vaccinator. In between her weekly counselling sessions, Nicky can be found administering the precious vaccines at the Lights theatre.

Nicky said recently ‘I love helping out at my favourite theatre there is a real sense of camaraderie here between the staff and volunteers’

Nicky is happy to be back helping out the residents of Andover by re-training as a Covid-19 Vaccinator

12-12-2020 We are delighted to have an article published…

Delighted to have had our second article published!

Over at the TLC Hub we love writing articles especially when we have interesting subject matter to write about! Our recent published article via the Counselling Directory Website has received good reviews and even a few enquiries off the back of it!

please go and have a look..

We are Covid-19 Secure are you?

03-10-2020 All about the love….

Having just attended my second attachment day workshop, it never ceases to amaze me just how absolutely fundamental attachment is to the young developing child. What we are given or not given by our primary caregiver in those early years, predominantly from 0-7 shapes our foundation stones to life!

The different types of attachment styles.

The fabulous key note speaker of the day Jeff Lane, a well known speaker on this subject matter offers that attachment can quite simply be at the very route cause of many of the client issues that present in the counselling room.

Secure Attachment it is thought about 53% of the population have a secure attachment base. However counsellors and psychotherapists would argue strongly that this number is too high. These are the person you would not expect to pitch up for counselling unless they have a bereavement or sudden trauma. Their reset button is a good one! They adapt and cope with change very well, and are self assured and competent in their image of self.


We love being creative over at the TLC Hub and we are very pleased with our mask that we made. If we have to be safe may as well be safe in style! Be your own kind of wonderful.

Who knew mask making could be so fun!


Yipee we have accrued 500 client hours!




The TLC Hub is proud to be part of the Olive Branch Training Team.

We are delighted over at the TLC Hub to be part of the Olive Branch Training Team. We joined in March 2020, and have helped facilitate 2 x 6 hours of CPD workshops for qualified and trainee counsellors. We are also offering a regular Loss in Lockdown series to help us voice our concern in these uncertain times.

The Olive Branch Counselling Service has been in operation since 1997, offering talking therapies to the people of Winchester and the surrounding area. Their values are firmly planted in respecting the individual and offering honesty, kindness and dignity to anyone with whom they work with. They do not discriminate in any way against people of differing creeds, backgrounds or ability. We are now looking to expand our service to reach a wider number of people both in and around the Winchester area.


100 Days!! So what have we been doing during Lockdown?

We are 100 days into Lockdown so what have we been doing during this uncertain period over at the TLC Hub? We Joined the Andover Isolation Help Group in early March with the aim of supporting vulnerable Self-Isolating Andover residents with shopping and collecting their prescriptions.

One Hundred Days of Lockdown

What we ending up doing quite early into the process was verifying and briefly interviewing the volunteers as the group began to grow. We then realised some people were needing mental health support during this difficult time. Nicky Bates the Director of the Hub offered free counselling to 8 individuals during Lockdown. Nicky is currently still offering counselling to 4 Andover residents free of charge. She also shops weekly for two elderly residents who could not get to the shops.

The Andover Isolation Group was the brain child of local teacher Tori Rist, and with an armful of loyal committed volunteers many who are still volunteering today (Tamsin, Nickie, Jon, Kel) to name but a few! Tori’s insightful vision certainly needs to be recognised, as without this none of their successes would have developed.

The group went from strength to strength and local Councillor Victoria Harber set up food deliveries from the Queen Charlotte Pub and prescriptions were being dropped to the Andover Radio love bus for volunteers to drop off to the self isolating folk of Andover. A buddy telephone call system was then set up by Tori and Nicky which is still being utilised today.

As we move out of Lockdown one thing that is for certain is the real spirit of a community coming together in a crisis, and one that the TLC Hub feels very proud to have been a part of!

The Andover community pulled together during the Covid-19 crisis

11-05-20 Exciting Online Anxiety Course

Over at the TLC Counselling Hub we are delighted to run our very first online training event on the Saturday the 23rd May at 2pm. For a small donation you can book a ticket for the Eventbrite session. The event will be run through Zoom and an identification number and password will be sent nearer the time.

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Over at the TLC counselling Hub we were delighted to receive free online advertising by the very generous Love Andover Radio station. They are supporting and promoting local companies who are still running during the Covid-19 crisis. Like many local busineses the TLC Counselling Hub are learning to adapt and change during these very uncertain times We are now offering oline counselling via Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom or Facetime.

Thanks Love Andover Radio for supporting local companies during these difficult times!


200 TLC Hours how fabulous

We are delighted to have reached our 200 hundredth client hour over at the TLC Counselling Hub. We started with our first client hour at the end of July 2019, and cant quite believe we have already reached this staggering number! Thanks to all our wonderful clients past and present, We really could not do it without you!


In the COVID-19 Chaos….It’s all about acting responsibly!!

It is something we can all aim to be!

It is time to take responsible measures!

With the deadly Corona virus (COVID-19) spreading uncontrollably through the UK at an accelerated rate, it is time that as a nation we started acting responsibly for our actions!

It really saddened us over at the Hub today that whilst on our weekly shop, not only did the hand soap ailse looked all ransacked and dishevelled, but the toilet roll ailse looked like the Andrex puppy had become a figment of our long lost imaginations! Please think people before you panic buy!!


  • Think of the elderly generation who may only be able to do their shop once a week!
  • Think of the people on low incomes who cannot afford the £3 bag of gluten free pasta that is the only pasta left on the shelves.
  • Think of the disabled people who may not be able to reach that last out of view bag of rice.
  • Think that by panic buying it only causes more panic, and thus creating the ripple effect!
  • Think of the anxiety sufferer who struggles enough just to make it to a supermarket. Panic buying, and increased people in a confined space only heightens their anxiety!
  • Think about the vulnerable and at risk groups, will you be doing anything to help in your local community?
  • Think about the Drs and Nurses and all the other medical support helping us around the clock through this crisis!
  • Think that by scaremongering and constantly uploading negative posts on social media platforms about COVID-19. What is your objective here? Are you actually helping and being kind?
  • Think, keep updated and informed from reliable sources.
  • Thank you for thinking!

Choosing The TLC Hub’s Crystals & Stones wisely…

We our loving our new additional to the TLC Hub’s treasures this stunning piece of labradorite with a rare rainbow flex.

We love buying rare gems for the TLC Hub, and today 08/02/20 we discovered this beauty in Ilfracombe North Devon. We didn’t notice the rainbow fleck until it was being photographed which makes it extra special.

What’s so special about Labradorite then?

Labradorite is a popular decorative stone because of its labradorescence, which creates a dazzling optical phenomenon of a blue green to deep blue sheen that shimmers in the light. Other varieties, including rare specimens, offer a stunning rainbow of green, violet, or orange shimmer called spectrolite. Thanks to the parallel formation of mineral intergrowths within its structure, these lights bounce back-and-forth, which creates its distinctive shimmery, ethereal effect. the Labradorite stone is a special crystal to keep close by because it reminds you of the natural beauty of the cosmos.

Discovered in the 18th century, the Labradorite meaning refers to the region of Labrador in Canada where the stone was first mined. Geologists were immediately enthralled by its shimmering iridescence and deep blue-green shades. But long before this discovery, the native peoples believed that the Labradorite crystal stone meaning was connected to the Aurora Borealis and its spectacular flashes of light, the most spectacular sight on earth. Labradorite reminds us to go outside, look up the stars.

With its pearly sheen of iridescent blues and greens, the colour of water, Labradorite harnesses the life-giving elements of the planet and opens up the mind to multiple levels of consciousness that goes beyond everyday reality and our outdated belief systems. Labradorite crystal healing properties are linked with the third eye chakra, the energy field that ignites spiritual expansion and higher levels of the mind and spirit. If you’re looking to expand your mind and increase your spiritual growth this is your stone.

Healing Properties

♥ Transformation ♥ Promotes psychic abilities ♥ Helps with anxiety, stress strengthens our will ♥ Stimulates imagination ♥ Calming

A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance.  It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies. Really what is there not to love about this beautiful mystical stone!!

Wow indeed over the Christmas and New Year Period the TLC Hub took 9 new enquiries from new clients. This now puts our Hub total up to 23! We are attracting clients from different towns and the age group ranged from 20-71. It really has never been a better time to reach out and talk to someone. Someone is always listening!

02-10-19 We are delighted to upload these very colourful pictures. This beautiful elephant was very thoughtfully chosen for us and has travelled all the way from sunny Tanzania. She now hangs beautifully in pride of place and arrived safely to brighten all of our days .

come check out my profile…

Over at the TLC Counselling Hub we are feeling a tad excited today as our listing on the counselling directory website has just been launched. If you have time head over to the link below your feedback is always very welcome. Thanks in advance.


We have been seeing clients now for 1 month!

The TLC Counselling Hub Doors have now been open a month!


1st August 2019 The TLC Counselling Hub goes live…

So we got to spend a few hours over at the bright colourful Andover Radio Station. Ben Tuffin did the interview and we look forward to working with you again in the future.


A big thank you to Elliot from the Andover Advertiser


Over at the TLC Counselling Hub we would like to say a massive thank you to Elliot Binks from the Andover Advertiser for coming to visit us at the TLC Hub a few weeks ago, and also for his very sizeable write up in the community paper. We have already taken a few web and e-mail enquiries following the publication


A very sizeable write up indeed!

3….2….1.… Lift off whoosh the TLC Counselling Hub launches today…..

No time like the present….
A warm welcome awaits you…