North Devon Relationship Counselling Service has reopened at Tarka Clinic in Barnstaple after the coronavirus lockdown.

The outbreak meant that the service, which had only begun in January after the closure of Relate, was forced to shut down temporarily in March.

Now face-to-face appointments can resume, with strict social distancing and hygiene precautions, or appointments via telephone and video call if people prefer.

Former Relate counsellor Jean Bowerman, who set up the new service, is advising those worried about their relationships to consider having some professional help before their situation gets worse.

She said: “Being able to talk through their situation with an experienced counsellor, who will not judge them, can be invaluable in helping them to find the best way forward.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has brought with it extraordinary pressures on families, such as juggling home schooling of children while trying to work from home, worries about protecting vulnerable family members and concerns about future job security and finances.

“It is not really surprising that some couples are in crisis, particularly those whose relationships were already in difficulty before lockdown.”

Appointments can be made, often at fairly short notice, by calling 07887 562072 or the Tarka Clinic on 01271 373346 or visit www.northdevonrcs.co.uk .