As Pride Month unfolds, Firstport honours social enterprise Kaleidoscope Counselling's commitment towards the LGBTQ+ community through counselling and training for inclusive support.


"> #Pride Month Spotlight: Kaleidoscope Counselling’s Inspiring Work - Firstport As Pride Month unfolds, Firstport honours social enterprise Kaleidoscope Counselling's commitment towards the LGBTQ+ community through counselling and training for inclusive support.


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Inclusion and Diversity

Pride Month Spotlight: Kaleidoscope Counselling’s Inspiring Work

As Pride Month unfolds, Firstport honours social enterprise Kaleidoscope Counselling’s commitment towards the LGBTQ+ community through counselling and training for inclusive support.


Kaleidoscope Counselling, a social enterprise dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, offers vital emotional support through one-on-one counselling and empowers professionals, community groups, and organisations with impactful training on working effectively with the LGBTQ+ community.  

We delve into Kaleidoscope Counselling’s mission, its passionate team, and how Firstport’s commitment to making social enterprise accessible, achievable, and aspirational has fuelled its progressive journey.

About the organisation

Based in Glasgow, Kaleidoscope Counselling Scotland is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity Therapy (GSRD therapy) to anyone aged 12 and above. Their mission is twofold: Empowering the LGBTQ+ community and promoting an equality and inclusion environment for LGBTQ+ people.

Passionate journey of co-founders

Co-founder Cat with purple hair and glasses

Cat and Claire, co-founders of Kaleidoscope Counselling Scotland, identified a pressing need within the LGBTQ+ community for specialised mental health support. They observed that mental health issues often disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ individuals, further aggravated by a lack of understanding from professionals not well-versed in the unique challenges faced by this population.

Motivated by their commitment to serving a broader LGBTQ+ community and bridging this service gap, Cat and Claire leveraged their nearly five years’s experience of leading the counselling service at LGBT Youth Scotland. In 2019, they launched Kaleidoscope Counselling Scotland to provide accessible and affordable GSRD therapy. Their approach ensures that the LGBTQ+ community receives inclusive and affirming therapy from qualified and experienced therapists, fostering better mental health outcomes and a more supportive environment for the LGBTQ+ community they serve.

Firstport’s Support for Kaleidoscope Counselling

The co-founders acknowledge that Firstport’s financial and business support has been instrumental in their success. Without this crucial partnership, Kaleidoscope wouldn’t be where it is today and wouldn’t have been able to offer these vital services for the past three years.

Brian McMillan‘s legal structures, boards, and marketing expertise helped them build a sustainable social enterprise model. Karen Fitzsimmons, Relationship Manager, provided invaluable assistance with funding applications, securing Start It funding in 2019. This initial support allowed them to establish a welcoming counselling space for LGBTQ+ clients, leading to the incorporation of Kaleidoscope Counselling Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2019 and the opening of its doors in 2020.

The partnership continued to thrive in 2022. Karen and Brian’s combined efforts in crafting a comprehensive business plan secured Build It funding, enabling Kaleidoscope Counselling to expand its services sustainably. This ongoing support has empowered them to serve a wider LGBTQ+ community and positively impact mental health outcomes.

Kaleidoscope Counselling’s Social Impact

Two women sitting in chairs

Since 2020, Kaleidoscope Services has provided counselling support to members of the LGBTQ+community aged 12-34 of all genders and sexual identities. Their services are accessible to clients in Glasgow and can be delivered digitally across Scotland, making them remarkably adaptable for neurodiverse individuals.

Affordability and Accessibility:

Kaleidoscope’s services start at £15 per session, significantly lower than the standard cost of £60 per session. This affordability makes therapy substantially more accessible to those who may otherwise struggle to afford it.

Positive Outcomes:

At Kaleidoscope, the focus is on quality and lasting change for their clients. The results speak for themselves. After therapy, clients have reported a reduction in their CORE Score (a tool used to measure distress), improved emotional well-being, decreased mental health struggles, and stronger connections with their support services. They have also shown increased emotional literacy, self-awareness, and self-care skills, demonstrating the effectiveness of the services.

More work to do

Let’s support their journey with their mission to provide informed, affirmative, and accessible counselling to gender and sexually diverse individuals in Scotland and create lasting improvements to their emotional well-being.

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