BACP Universities & Colleges A Division of BACP

HUCS Meetings 2017/2018


Each of the three meetings will focus on one different aspect of our theme for the year: 'Engaging with Controversy' - reflecting our desire to engage intelligently and reflectively with our institutions and senior managers whilst recognising the growing pressures and demands we are all operating under.  Dates as follows

November 3 2017: Birkbeck College, University of London

Speakers: John de Pury from UUK and Gregor Henderson from Public Health England.

February 16 2018: University of Oxford. 

June 15 2018: Edinburgh University.

Full details will be posted when available.

Mentoring and consultation scheme for heads of service

This scheme was started in 2012, to develop the support available to members and to promote network building. The scheme has proved popular and has been accessed by an increasing number of heads and by those facing challenges to their service. Contact Géraldine Dufour Tel: 01223 332865.  Email:


Membership of the HUCS Executive Committee 2016/2017       

Alan Percy:Chair 
Head of Counselling (University of Oxford)

Alan is the current chair and represents HUCS on the BACP-UC Executive committee. From working in youth and community settings in the early 1980’s, he became committed to developing practical therapeutic strategies to help young people and adults suffering from psychological/emotional distress and the effects of mental illness to achieve life goals. He worked at a wide range of FE and HE Institutions as a counsellor and lecturer for over 27 years. Alan has worked at the Counselling Service at the University of Oxford for the last 17 years and is the current Head of Service. He is a qualified UKCP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and accredited clinical supervisor, a Senior Accredited Member of (BACP). In 2016 he was awarded a Visiting Professorship at Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Tel: 01865 (2) 70300b

David Mair: Past Chair 
Head of Counselling (University of Birmingham)

David is the past chair of HUCS. He has worked in student counselling for over 12 years, and prior to that his background was working with international students in HE and in teaching. David has a strong interest in equality and diversity issues and how they impinge on client wellbeing, and on the counsellor-client relationship.

Tel: 0121 414 5130

Trevor Butlin: Secretary
Team Leader: Counselling and Wellbeing (De Montfort University)

Having qualified 30 years ago, I have worked in student counselling for 15. Originally training as a psychodynamic counsellor, I now offer a very integrative approach to provide a 'menu of options' to clients.  I have been Team Leader at DMU for four years and enjoy the challenge of supporting and managing staff.  I also have a background in training and careers' guidance.  I have a particular interest in developing proactive projects to ensure that services are embedded in Universities.  This includes evaluating effectiveness of services.  I joined the Executive in 2014. 

Tel:  0116 2078602 
Email: TButlin@DMU.AC.UK

Helen Bentley: Membership Secretary
Counselling Service Manager (Loughborough University)

After a varied career primarily in Arts and Media, I have been practising as a therapist for 22 years. I trained initially in Humanistic and Transactional Analysis approaches although I now consider myself to be an integrative practitioner. Over that time I have worked in commercial and charity settings as well as HE and been employed in a variety of roles including clinical manager, counsellor, case manager and clinical supervisor. I have been head of service at Loughborough for seven years leading a brilliant team providing student and staff counselling. I also work with the Professional Conduct Team at the BACP. I have always found HUCS to be great source of support to me in my role so joined the exec two years ago and very much enjoy being membership secretary. 

Tel: 01509 222148

Ronnie Millar: Executive Member and Scottish representative
Director of Counselling (University of Edinburgh)

I trained as a humanistic-existential counsellor after working in the fields of law and pastoral ministry in Scotland and Botswana. I have worked at the Counselling Service at the University of Edinburgh for 20 years and have been Director since 2010. I manage Student and Staff Counselling teams and am involved with the Development and implementation of the University's Student entail Health Strategy. I previously taught on a Counselling and Supervision PG Diploma programme and am a past Chair of the BACP-UC Conference Committee. I have a keen interest in developing CPD opportunities for counsellors in HE. As well as my involvement with HUCS I am currently Chair of HUCS Scotland.

Tel. 0131 650 4170

Charlotte Williams: Events Co-ordinator
Head of Counselling: Birkbeck.  University of London

Charlotte has been working as a counsellor in a number of Higher Education Institutes since 2003. In 2010 she took a Deputy role and following that she has worked as Head of Service at Birkbeck, University of London for the last five years where she restructured, developed and expanded the team significantly. She is in her final year of training at the Tavistock clinic as an Organisational Consultant. She provides training, supervision, consultation and is an Accredited Member of BACP.


Dr Val Watson: Treasurer
Head of Counselling: University of Nottingham

Val is a BACP Senior accredited and UKCP registered counsellor.  She has worked in education for over thirty years, as a teacher, adult education lecturer, trainer, director of counselling studies and now as a head of a university counselling service for students and staff. She has an interest in issues of race, ethnicity and the impact of difference on relationships, community action, and the maintenance of health through the use of and access to the arts. Latterly her interest is focussed on the potential of therapeutic work in groups and group organisational reflective practice. 

Tel:  0115 951 3695

Penelope Aspinall
Head of Disability, Counselling and Mental Health

Penelope has worked in HE for over 20 years, starting as a sessional counsellor at the University of Huddersfield in 1995 and then moving to the University of Leeds in 2003, where she became Senior Counsellor in 2006.  She joined the University of Bradford as Head of Counselling in September 2014.  The Disability Service has recently become part of her remit.  As well as working in HE, Penny has worked in NHS settings as a counsellor in GP surgeries and then as a staff counsellor at St James’ and Seacroft Hospitals, Leeds and having trained with Relate, has extensive experience in Couple Counselling and Psychosexual Therapy.  Before joining the University of Leeds as a full –time counsellor, she worked as a workplace counsellor/executive coach in two local Industries as well as having a private counselling and supervision practice.   However, her main experience, interest and love lie in working in Universities, so is honoured and excited to be on the HUCS executive.


Although Penny was born in London, she has lived and worked in Yorkshire for over 25 years.

Tel: 01274 233739 (Disability; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) 01274 235750 (Counselling; Tuesdays, Thursdays)
Mob: 07468 718484