A new relationship counselling service has been opened in Barnstaple to help local couples and individuals struggling with their relationships to access support in their local area.

Following the closure of Relate's Barnstaple centre in December last year, people needing help have been required to travel to Exeter or Taunton to access specialist relationship counselling.

In response to conversations with clients and some local GPs worried about this, Jean Bowerman, a former Barnstaple Relate counsellor, has set up North Devon Relationship Counselling Service to provide local help, operating from The Tarka Clinic at Paiges Lane in Barnstaple.

Jean Bowerman said: "When people are anxious or stressed by difficulties in their relationships they can feel in real crisis. Being able to talk through their options with an experienced professional can be invaluable.

"They need to be able to access help easily and quickly and, particularly if they rely on public transport or need evening appointments, do not want to have to travel long distances."

Appointments can be made, often at fairly short notice, by contacting Tarka Clinic on 01271 373346.