Annual Report


The 2020/21 financial year was challenging for The Maya Centre, as like so many organisations, we were forced to transfer all of our services to remote and online delivery. Although we were not able to continue with our group work or complementary therapies during this year, our 1-1 therapy sessions transitioned successfully with over 80% of sessions going to remote delivery within 2 weeks of the first national lock-down.

Our counsellors, support team and trustees worked together exceptionally well during this time, ensuring that women could be reached and counselled safely and securely without risking our staff wellbeing and connectivity. Additional Covid-19 funding meant that we were able to purchase dedicated laptops, migrate our server to full  online services and train all staff to use and be comfortable with online platforms such as our CoreNet database, Microsoft 365, Teams and Zoom.

During this financial year, we received 396 referrals for counselling and supported 272 women with individual therapy, delivering more than 3,500 sessions from our counsellors’ own homes.

At the end of their counselling with The Maya Centre:


of women showed an improvement in their ability to explore and express their feelings


of women showed an improvement in personal relationships


of women showed an improvement in their subjective well-being

“Alongside most charities, The Maya Centre faced unprecedented challenges in the 2020/21 financial year. When the pandemic hit in early 2020 we worked face to face with almost all our clients from our single centre in Archway. In retrospect, our then CEO had had extraordinary prescience, having piloted an on-line counselling project, from which we were able to build video and telephone counselling and maintain a service to the great majority of our existing clients, virtually without interruption.

“Emergency grant funds enabled us to support our therapists to work securely from home, to move administration and activity data fully online, and to make our centre covid safe so that face to face work can become the norm again. The serious rise in domestic abuse, anxiety and depression during lockdown, and the increasing cost of living subsequently, underline the critical need for women on low incomes for our free counselling, our range of languages, groups, outreach and complementary therapies.

“We are enormously grateful to former CEO Tahera Aanchawan, who led through the storm until her retirement in summer 2020, and to Emma Brech our new CEO, who has taken on the leadership with energy and intelligence, bringing the team together to find solutions during continued uncertainties, and develop exciting prospects for the year ahead.

“I am hugely impressed by the dedicated contribution of every single woman who works in, volunteers for and supports The Maya Centre. Working together has achieved so much for the women who come here for help, and leave stronger and more confident even in such tough times.

“Please read our service users’ comments in our annual report 2020/21, and thank you for your continued interest and support.”

Rebecca Harrington, Chair of the Board