BACP member Yaz Benson has spoken of her delight after a counselling service was selected as charity of the year by the local mayor.

Councillor David Allan, mayor of Sutton Coldfield, has announced that he will be supporting Footsteps Counselling and Support during his year in the post.

“We are blown away,” said Yaz, counsellor and agency manager. “We had no idea about it and thank the mayor for believing in us.

“We hope it is going to raise our profile in the community and among other businesses, which is fantastic.”

Footsteps Counselling and Support was founded in 2013 by Yaz, Claire Kelly and Gina Cook. All the service’s counsellors are BACP members.

Coun Allan said he was amazed when he heard about the work of the Footsteps team.

“For anyone experiencing problems often the first step of opening up is the hardest to take,” he said.

“To have a service like this in Sutton Coldfield is a real benefit to our residents and I will continue to promote the work of this organisation throughout my term in office.

“I look forward to working with them to raise awareness and in doing so help break down the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health issues,” he added.

Footsteps will be invited to speak about the charity’s work at the Town Council’s annual volunteer reception in November.

Picture caption: Coun David Allan, mayor of Sutton Coldfield, mayoress Linda Allan and BACP member Yaz Benson, agency manager at Footsteps Counselling and Support