Client Charter

Our Mission:

We as an organisation and as individuals will give supportive care to people suffering emotional pain and hurt. We will do this through the human responses of caring, kindness, and acceptance. We are committed to provide this within a relationship of trust and respect for each person. We will achieve this through counselling, support, education, training and a range of additional therapeutic services. We promise that all of us will be appropriately trained in the specific areas of work that we undertake with any person using our services.

Our Commitment to you:
Our Aim is to provide a place of genuine acceptance, active safety, and living hope, to those who don’t feel accepted, who don’t feel safe and are losing hope. We will do this by:

  • Practising these living values in our own lives
  • Supporting each other to live these values, freeing each other to be our real selves
  • Acting on these values by communicating them to all who seek our services of counselling, support, education, training and our other therapeutic services.
  • Committing ourselves to maintain the highest ethical standards which will be facilitated by Organizational Policies and Procedures in relation to confidentiality, supervision, line management, equality and health and safety.
  • Promoting the protection of children, young people and adults from harm.
  • Sharing our knowledge and findings with statutory and voluntary groups in particular and the wider community in general.

Our Values:

Zest Staff, Volunteers and Directors are committed to high quality, client-focussed, professional service provision aimed at enabling children, young people and adults, in all their diversity, to develop and sustain improved emotional health as well as appropriate, healthy and effective life-skills.

Ethical Standards:

Zest recognises the essential dignity of each and every person and our practices are supported by the following ethical standards:

  • Zest services are to be used only for the good of the organisation and not for personal gain or profit by our staff, volunteers or Board Members.
  • Zest’s policy of confidentiality is paramount
  • All Zest Personnel have a responsibility for preventing situations which may cause harm to themselves or others, by working safely and identifying risks to safety
  • No Personnel will engage in any sexual relationship with a client or former client(s).
  • Zest Personnel will not provide counselling to their specific partners, direct family members or close friends
  • Zest Personnel will adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework embracing the core principles of trustworthy, autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and self-respect.
  • As a new client, you will usually be contacted within 48 hours from receipt of referral and will be seen within 7-10 days from the initial contact, depending on the source of the referral. Self-referring clients may have to wait slightly longer for an initial appointment based on waiting list
  • Zest therapists (counselling and or complementary) will be ready and waiting for you to attend an appointment which usually lasts for 50 minutes.
  • Where possible if a therapist is unable to attend, sufficient notice at least 48 hours will be given to the client and an alternative support session offered and date of next appointment. All clients will be contacted the day before their scheduled appointment to confirm attendance. If you cannot attend we would ask that you also give us 24-48 hours notice if you find that you are unable to attend the agreed appointment.
  • If you fail to attend without notification the Zest therapists will implement the appropriate risk management protocols to ensure your well-being and safety.
  • Zest Director of Clinical Services will ensure that all therapists receive appropriate clinical supervision, line management, support and own therapy, if necessary, for the work carried out with you on behalf of Zest
  • Zest therapists are prepared, where it is helpful and agreeable to you, to make appropriate referral on to another Zest therapist or appropriate external professional agency.
  • You will be invited to give feedback on completion of contact.


Your right to confidentiality is of great importance to us at Zest and will be honoured to the highest level. You should be aware however that when a therapist suspects or is informed by a client about risk to vulnerable children, young person or adult, including abuse, or reasonably believes that there is a threat to life of a client, or another person, property or to public safety then the right to confidentiality may be limited. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 all client information will be treated with the utmost care and respect. Client records and case notes will be kept under a double-locking system and will only be available to those staff who are involved with the client. Identification numbers are allocated to each client so that any information kept does not identify the person. Records will be kept for 2 years from the end of therapy and will be destroyed by shredding.

Privacy Statement:

Zest is committed to providing you with a quality service which includes ensuring that your privacy is maintained. We adhere to the Privacy Act 1998 and the Health Records Act 2001 under which you are entitled to:

  • Know why your personal information is being collected and how it will be used
  • Be informed and agree with any use of your information other than its original purpose e.g. research studies where your personal details will be anonymised
  • Ask for access to your records, including your case notes
  • Correct inaccurate information about you
  • Know and agree which organisation, if any, will be given your personal information
  • Agree what information will be shared
  • Zest is committed to providing you with an excellent client service and welcomes positive feedback on the services we have provided you and any feedback on how we might do things better.

Zest’s Complaints Policy:

If you are not happy with the any aspect of the services you have received please:

  • Speak directly to your appointed therapist to try to resolve the issue
  • If you are still concerned please phone our office on 02871 26699 and ask to speak to the Director of Clinical Services
  • If you are still concerned that we have not listened please put your complaint in writing to: The Chairperson, Board of Directors, Zest 15 Queen Street, L’Derry BT48 7EQ
  • All complaints will be responded to within 5 working days of receipt
  • In the event that you are still not satisfied with the outcome we will direct you to the appropriate department of the Agency through which you were referred to Zest in the first instance, if applicable.

Emergency Numbers:

If you find yourself very distressed at any time outside of Zest normal working hours we urge you to contact the Out of Hours GP on: 02871 865195 after 5pm or the Lifeline free-phone helpline on: 0808 808 8000 anytime.

Make a Donation

Every year Zest helps over 700 people from 11 years of age and upwards in the Western area, through individual counselling, support for family and friends and complementary therapies.

Every penny counts, and we are thankful to our donors.


Our Funders

HSC Public Health Agency / Big Lottery Fund

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council WebsiteNI