A counsellor says she’s been “humbled” after her service won a national award.

Our member Edith Fleck runs Serenity Counselling, in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, which scooped Counselling service of the year in the Prestige awards.

The judges of the award, which is for Northern Ireland, told her they were impressed with her “personal touch” and “community feel”.

They told her: “It’s extra special to know you are making a positive difference.”

Edith, who is a former nurse manager, has been a counsellor for 22 years after being inspired to retrain following experiencing childhood and adolescent trauma, extensive losses, and serious illness.

She said: “I realised there were an awful lot of people going through some really difficult times. Some of them just couldn’t get any help or support.

“What I’ve been through gave me the desire to help other people through this journey.

Edith Fleck

Edith Fleck, of Serenity Counselling

“I hold a firm belief that it’s not ‘one size fits all’ when clients enter counselling. I’m very aware of the importance of creating a safe, non-judgmental space for clients so they can explore their difficulties and find coping mechanisms.”

The mum-of-three said she hoped awards like this help raise the profile of counselling and show the impact it can have on people’s lives.

“I really hope people get a deeper understanding of how counselling can help them.”

She added: “I’m really thankful to those who nominated me. It feels very special to know that they decided to take that step and put me up for this award. “But that’s not why I do this. I became a counsellor to make sure people could get the support they need.”

Edith expressed “This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the ongoing support of my husband, close friends and clinical consultancy; also the outstanding tutors who helped me enormously during arduous extensive training”.

Edith’s now been invited to a ceremony in London to receive her award.