What did you think of, when you stood on your doorstep clapping last year? Were you feeling grateful for public healthcare, or angry that you could do little more than bang pots and pans? Were you among those calling for urgent pay rises for health and care workers? Did you wonder who was caring for the carers?


For psychotherapist Claire Goodwin-Fee, whose father had not long recovered from a spell in ICU, the pressure on medical staff seemed clear. At the same time, she understood more than most the challenges they’d face accessing mental health support – shockingly, frontline staff endure the same waiting times for therapy as the rest of us, up to two years in some areas before the pandemic.


And so, on March 22 last year as the nation prepared to enter its first lockdown, Goodwin-Fee took matters into her own hands, posting the offer of pro-bono therapy for key workers on her Facebook page and asking a handful of industry friends to get involved. Almost a year later, the organisation that post spawned – Frontline 19 – has recruited around 3,000 volunteer qualified therapists, and provided more than 50,000 hours of free therapy.


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