Sudbury woman wins prestigious award for counselling service

Christine Boatwright has been recognised with a Community Champion award

Christine Boatwright has been honoured with a prestigious award for her work with the Kernos Centre in Sudbury - Credit: Laraine Green

A Sudbury woman who launched an "invaluable" counselling centre nearly 20 years ago to offer low-cost and free services to the community has been recognised with a prestigious award. 

Counsellor Christine Boatwright was inspired to open the Kernos Centre with two other therapists after she discovered there were a number of people who needed help but could not afford the fees charged by private practices. 

The Kernos Centre, which is a registered charity and based in Sudbury, opened in 2002 and aims to offer professional counselling to anyone who otherwise would not be able to access regular therapy. 

The demand for services has grown considerably over the years but Mrs Boatwright has continued to work tirelessly to raise the funding needed each year to help people in the community. 

Mrs Boatwright will now be honoured for her selfless work with a Community Champion award from Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. 

Mrs Boatwright, who was nominated by Sudbury Rotary Club, will receive her award during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, June 30, alongside 11 other recipients as well as last year’s winners whose ceremony was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tom Griffin, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “The difference this project makes to people's lives cannot be underestimated.

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"By providing professional counselling services to those who otherwise would not be able to access it can often mean the difference between life and death for many of Christine’s patients.

"The invaluable services and support the centre provides simply would not have been possible without Christine’s unstinting energy, enthusiasm, commitment and wisdom.”

Mrs Boatwright said she was "deeply grateful" for the award.

"I feel highly privileged to have been nominated by the members of the Sudbury Rotary Club and Jonathan King the rotary district governor, for this Community Champion award," she said. 

"That is honour enough, but to actually have been selected as a recipient of this award by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is such a surprise and honour, I will always be deeply grateful for this award, recognition and support."

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