The quick-thinking of a dedicated member of staff prevented a major flooding disaster at the headquarters of the mental health charity Wellspring Therapy & Training in Harrogate.

As the rain poured down over the May Bank Holiday weekend, Elaine Wright decided it would be wise to check on Wellspring’s building at 78 High Street, Starbeck, in case it was in danger of flooding.

To her horror, Elaine, accompanied by her husband Ian, discovered water had poured into the Garden Room and the downstairs basement area, causing extensive damage. It is likely this part out of building will now be out of action for months.

Nick Garrett, the interim chief executive of Wellspring, takes up the story: “Thanks to the foresight, heroics and commitment of Elaine, a major disaster has been averted. Had she not checked, it is likely the flood damage could have affected the whole building. That would have severely comprised all our counselling sessions, with devastating results.

“As it is, we will be able to carry on as normal, although some training sessions which are normally held in the basement will have to be relocated. Thankfully a water pump helped to contain the damage, but if it continues to rain heavily, we are vulnerable to further flooding.

“We are now busy drying out the whole affected area, assessing the damage, working out short-term prevention measures and sourcing new locations for bookings in the Garden Room and basement.

“Whilst our building is a key asset it’s worth reflecting that our amazing staff are what makes Wellspring Therapy &Training such a fantastic organisation. We owe a huge debt of thanks to Elaine – she had the foresight to walk up from her home nearby to check on our building on Bank Holiday Monday.

“She found it flooded and immediately rang me and Paul Tinsley, our Operations Manager. She then, together with her husband Ian and Paul, spent hours cleaning up all the flood damage. I can’t thank them all enough.”

Elaine added: “As soon as I saw the rain, I said to my husband we need to get round to Wellspring double quick. The flood damage was awful, but we managed to stop it getting worse. I’m so glad we can stay open.”

It is important to stress that Wellspring’s counselling sessions are unaffected.

The well-respected charity provides affordable short and long-term private counselling for the Harrogate and district community, relieving the huge burden on the NHS.

What makes Wellspring’s work unique is that the charity offers affordable long-term, open-ended counselling where needed. This type of therapy is not currently widely available from the NHS. Most private counselling typically costs between £50 or more for each session, but many of Wellspring’s clients are unable to afford this.

Looking ahead, Wellspring hopes to be able to counsel 220 clients by the end of next year, building on the 170 now on the charity’s books.