A COUNSELLOR from a York university has been nominated for a Community Pride award for her "outstanding" work and leadership.

Professor Lynne Gabriel, Director at York St John University Counselling and Mental Health Centre, has been nominated for the Mental Health prize in this year's awards.

Lynne started up the centre in 2016 as a small venture to provide accessible counselling for a range of mental health issues, free at the point of access.

The centre offers services associated with a range of mental health and wellbeing issues, with specific expertise and research outputs related to domestic violence, bereavement, trauma, and anger management.

Over the last year, under her leadership, the team have expanded their work at an unprecedented rate in response to the mental health crisis brought about by the pandemic.

During the pandemic, work has moved online, leading to an expansion of audiences and reach. The centre no longer just caters for those within York and North Yorkshire, with people across the UK now benefitting from its unique, tailored bereavement support.

Speaking on her work, Lynne said: "Our work is challenging yet touching in multiple ways, constantly reminding us of the need for and value in, supporting people to live their lives, survive through deeply distressing times and find meaningful ways forward."

Lynne has been nominated for the award by Dr Rachel Wicaksono, Head of the School of Education, Language and Psychology at York St John University.

Dr Wickasono said: "Professor Gabriel's strength comes not simply from her own expertise, but also from the way she forges meaningful partnerships to benefit the community."

In this year’s Community Pride awards, there will be prizes for Spirit of Youth, Person of the Year, Good Neighbour of the Year, Sporting Hero, Public Sector Hero, School of the Year, Charity Fundraiser, Health Service Hero, Teacher of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Child of the Year, Best Community Project, Doctor of the Year, the Mental Health Award and Carer of the Year.

Nominations for the awards are now closed. Winners will be announced at an award ceremony later in the year.