Our founder Karen Ager is a qualified, accredited, experienced counsellor and Therapist with 30 years broad experience of working with various types of people between the ages of 11-70 plus, including those with learning difficulties, elderly, homeless, people struggling with substances, children and teenagers with difficulties, and those living on the edge of society.
Karen specialises in all types of abuse: sexual, emotional, physical and self-abuse. She also has experience working with social-exclusion, post-traumatic stress, relational, anxiety, loss bereavement, depression, all types of dissociation and attachment issues.
- BSc (hons) Therapeutic Interventions for Addictions
- Accredited Counsellor Practitioner
- EDI Level 4 NVQ in Leadership and Management for Care Services
- Mental Capacity Act Level 3
- Advance Groupwork Training
- Safeguarding Adults for Managers.Advanced First Aider, Risk Assessment Level 2, Fire Safety Manager
My name is Karen Ager I have been working alongside people who find themselves living on the edge of society for 36 years.
The idea for Pathways For All People came about out of the blue shortly after I became a Christian, before that, I worked in the electronics industry.
I was sitting on a bus one night going home and the doors of the bus opened to let someone off, and I saw a guy sitting in a shop doorway with a blanket over him.
I heard a voice out of the blue saying that one day I would be working with people like that.
In my mind’s eye, I believed that it was God talking to me and I replied, ‘OK Lord as long as it’s not in London’!
Life ticked by for a couple of years. After my partner was tragically killed, I had more time on my hands so I thought it was a good opportunity to dip my toe in the water, so I started helping out at a drop-in centre.
I took to it like a duck to water, and after the second week, I became the second in charge. I was therefore able to support people by attending court with them, visiting them and providing support with housing.
I also supported those with mental health issues and often visited those who had ended up in psychiatric hospitals. I was also able to support their families where needed.
I soon left the electronics industry behind and started working with people as they left large institutions and re-adjusted back into living in the community. There were some very sad situations, including one lady who became pregnant at the age of 16, and was put in an institution until the age of 81. It was my job to help her re-adjust back into normal living, which provided great job satisfaction.
As time passed, I decided to branch out into the homeless field, and I was fortunate that I was successful for every vacancy I applied for! I therefore decided to join a new organisation who were like-minded Christians and we all lived by our faith for a couple of years. We lived in Surrey and commuted into Kings Cross and brought people back to Surrey if they wanted a fresh start in life.
This experience provided valuable foundations for my career.
I soon went on to run a homeless project in Hounslow and very quickly discovered that most of the people had addiction issues, so I was trained in issues surrounding addiction, completing a degree with honours known as Therapy for Addictions, as well becoming an accredited counsellor.
I took 6 weeks out to work in Hong Kong with people who had heroin addictions for 40 plus years and watch them become drug-free through prayer.
While sitting on Hong Kong Island at 6am one morning and an eagle flying over head I heard a voice again, saying ‘I would like you to work with women with addictions’.
Once back in the UK and enjoying overseeing the homeless projects, I was asked if I would like to manage a womens Rehab, within the month I had moved to Dartford in Kent managing the womens Rehab.
This provided immense job satisfaction, but sadly funding was cut, resulting in the Rehab program being changed into a day program.
The day program was just about to open when I was headhunted for another women’s Rehab as a manager, this time it was for mothers and babies.
I moved to Andover in Hampshire and got on with the task at hand, which was difficult at times due to a heavy workload, coupled with being the only therapist and counsellor.
As time passed, I eventually decided to leave, and once I left sadly most of the clients decided to also leave, and within 6 months the place had shut down.
I worked in Southampton for 6 months with Street Scene, when I had the idea of branching out on my own.
I spoke with a Care Providing Team and they assured me that if I set up, they would support me for a year with clients until I was established.
I soon became a victim of my own success. After 11 years, the funding within Social Services began to dry up so in 2016 Pathways for all People was set up to help support those who found themselves living on the edge of society.”