A CARING and passionate woman who has touched the lives of thousands of women has won a top gong.

NHS Midwife Berlin Collard took home the Community Volunteer award at Monday night's glittering Pride of Bracknell Awards.

Berlin runs antenatal aqua-aerobic classes at Coral Reef as she believes that exercising throughout pregnancy improves the birthing experience for mums.

She said: "I love my mothers and they all deserve this award because they do so well having a baby.

"I personally feel that safe exercise gives a safer delivery to all my mums and they enjoy the pregnancy and become happy parents." As she collected her trophy and bouquet of flowers, she was joined on stage by Nicky Cook, whose daughter Jessica, 10, was delivered by Berlin.

Mrs Cook, who lives in Jevington, Birch Hill, said: "I have worked with Berlin at Coral Reef for over 12 years and she was there when my daughter was born.

"Whenever I had any worries or panicked during the pregnancy Berlin was always there to calm me down and give me support.

"My daughter was born with Downs Syndrome so we were moved from Heatherwood to Wexham Park but Berlin came and saw us. It was so nice and reassuring to see a familiar face." Berlin, who lives in Beedon Drive with her husband, Alan, was nominated for the award by Kirstie King who attended the classes while pregnant with her daughters Iona, now 10, and Evie, three.

Berlin added: "I am so very grateful to everyone who nominated me and chose me to win this award.

"It's a joy to see mothers doing so well and being healthy and happy. It's a very satisfying job for me especially when it enhances the chances of having a normal delivery.

"Everything I do is for mums and their well-being." As well as running the classes, Berlin spends time with expectant mums out of the pool to answer any questions they may have and to reassure them.

Many of the mums she has helped are still good friends with Berlin.

She said: "I'm still in touch with several of the families and a number of them invited me to their son or daughter's christening."