Counsellors were ecstatic when they won a special accolade at the prestigious Lincolnshire Innovation & Technology Awards.

The Lincoln-based Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub CIC (NWCH CIC) was announced Not Just Profit Business of The Year at a celebratory evening at the Epic Centre at The Lincolnshire Showground, which was attended by a wide range of creative, innovative and tech businesses chasing sixteen coveted honours.

NWCH CIC won its award as a business with a strong purpose that is as important as business success.

That could be anything from sustainability, driving a zero-carbon agenda, having a substantial corporate social responsibility ideology, improving local communities or even having a global impact.

The aim was to identify a business that had innovated by being a different type of company – one that put purpose on an equal footing to profitability.

NWCH CIC offers a wide range of counselling to everyone from children as young as four years old to the elderly. Its disciplines, and its counsellors’ expertise, covers everything from bullying to child, domestic and sexual abuse, bereavement, self-harm and suicide ideation.

Chief Executive Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska said: “Being recognised as a local CIC (community interest company) serving Lincolnshire is a real privilege.

“We are five years old and have supported nearly 3,000 people. Not only are we changing lives, we are saving lives. I dedicate this award to the team and our clients.”

At the height of the Covid pandemic, demand for the Hub’s services saw it counselling up to 800 people a month and transition from offering face-to-face to online and telephone  support to keep its clients’ recovery on track.

The Hub is continually working to win funding so that it can help people who are unable to afford counselling support (in addition to those who pay for its services).

This month (December) it is trying to raise £10,000 through a crowding funding campaign to help many more people waiting for its help. Readers can help by donating at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/nwch