The majority of people with psychosocial problems confide in relatives or friends rather than their GP or other professional but the advice and information handed out, although well intentioned, may be misinformed. Others consult key personnel within their community who also may be ill-equipped to give constructive help. In a disadvantaged inner city area, it might be expected not only that stress would be prominent in people's lives and affect their health, but also that there would be barriers to seeking professional help. This project investigated whether working in partnership with a community, enabling its members to identify their own support, development and training needs and meeting those needs by adaptation of a recognized basic counselling skills course, was an effective way of helping that community cope with its own psychosocial problems, increasing its transferable skill base. Evaluation was conducted by means of individual interviews and focus groups. Participants perceived that the training that they had undertaken was valuable and that they were now better listeners with increased confidence and more likely to offer appropriate responses to those seeking their help. Several were motivated to undertake further training and others gained confidence to seek further professional help for themselves. Spending time allowing a community to define its own training needs whilst working on familiar territory is a cheap, effective, non-threatening way of putting information, basic counselling and relationship building skills into a disadvantaged urban community without causing dependency but instead encouraging them to seek further training enhancing employability. The skills introduced into that community remain and can be used to the full for themselves and others especially in relation to psychosocial problems. As the project used a well-recognized course and can be adapted to the needs of local people, it is likely to be transferable to other areas.