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Karen Burgess, Chief Executive

I have practised as a professional counsellor, coach and trainer for 18 years, working within the NHS and Adult Education, and maintaining a successful private counselling practice.

In 2009 I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to establish and run a counselling service within the Rosie Maternity Hospital at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge. The project was an undeniable success: in a two-year period, nearly 3% of patients using the Rosie Maternity Service also attended the counselling service.

In April 2011, the counselling service was closed and my role ended due to the withdrawal of funding through the NHS.
I strongly felt that this valuable service should not be lost but I wrestled with the dilemma of how to provide this support for the women and couples who were unable to fund private counselling. The idea of setting up a charity for this purpose occurred to me.

Some weeks later, after much research and many discussions with others committed to this idea, Petals was formed and registered as a charitable company.

My personal ambition is to ensure that every woman or couple who suffer loss or trauma in pregnancy,  during birth or after birth, has access to Petals Specialist Counselling.   Along with a very supportive Petals Team, I am very determined to achieve this.