Our member Edith Fleck has been made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list and hopes her award will help to raise the profile of counselling.

Edith spoke of her surprise at her award, which was in recognition of her services to the community in Northern Ireland.

She said: “I was taken aback when I received the letter. I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Edith runs Serenity Counselling in Lisburn, which last year was named Counselling Service of the Year in the Prestige Awards.

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

Our member Edith Fleck has been appointed MBE in the New Year's Honours

Our member Edith Fleck has been appointed MBE in the New Year's Honours

Benefits of counselling

“I want to raise the profile of counselling and the benefits of counselling, and I hope that this award will help,” said Edith.

“The nomination was supported by mental health referrers and users of the service, which confirms the power of counselling as it changes lives.

“You hear about actors, sports people and other industries getting awards, so it’s great that counselling has been recognised.”

Meanwhile, our member Pete Barty says he was humbled to receive the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to charity and the local community.

Pete, who has been a BACP member for more than eight years, has raised more than £25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Harbour Cancer Support in Hampshire since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

“Once I recovered from that and got the all clear I set about fundraising,” said Pete, who runs Find Your North private practice in Fareham. “I’ve climbed mountains, run marathons, run ultra-marathons and done various other things.

“And once I’d done my initial training, my placement was with a cancer charity, so I felt I was giving back there.”

Our member Pete Barty after receiving his British Empire Medal with his wife Helen

Our member Pete Barty after receiving his British Empire Medal with his wife Helen

Humbling

Pete said he was stunned to be told he’d been nominated for an honour.

“It was mind-blowing,” he said. “Up until that point you’ve no idea it’s going on.

“I had to keep quiet about it for two or three months, which was horrendous.

“When it got announced it went a bit crazy for a bit with friends and family getting in touch.

“It was very humbling some of the stuff that people were saying. My mum died five or six years ago, and it was sad she wasn’t here to share in the celebration.

“I was humbled and honoured that someone had gone to the trouble and that it was agreed that was worthy of an honour.”

Pete received his award in September from the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and is due to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace with his wife Helen.

Former BACP member Louise Goodman, manager of the Family Caring Centre, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the mental and physical wellbeing of vulnerable people in County Antrim, Northern Ireland in the New Year’s Honours.

If you were named in the New Year’s Honours or if you know of a member who was, please email media@bacp.co.uk to let our team know.