A veterinary nurse has been named the best in the UK at a prestigious ceremony in London.
Trudi King-Gunn, who works at Apex Vets in Denny, picked up her prize at the House of Lords.
The 41-year-old was judged the best from a shortlist of candidates at the sixth annual Over the Counter awards, which is organised by the respected animal health magazine of the same name.
She was described by judges as clearly being “the cornerstone” of her practise.
Speaking to The Falkirk Herald, a still-elated Trudi described the experience as “fantastic”.
“I’ve worked with animals my entire adult life so this award is very special,” she said.
“I became a trainee veterinary nurse straight from school when I was 16, there was nothing else I wanted to do.”
Originally from Ealing, West London, Trudi moved to Scotland five years ago and has worked at Apex Vets since it opened in Denny’s Winchester Avenue in October 2010.
She was nominated for the award by her boss Doug Paterson.
Trudi, who lives with her partner Jakkie in Luggiebank, North Lanarkshire, added: “I had to fill out an application form and detail my experience and knowledge.
“I was thrilled just to make the shortlist. It was amazing to visit the House of Lords. Obviously coming from London I’ve been past Westminster many, many times, but I had never been inside.
‘‘The ceremony itself took place on the Lords Terrace and was hosted by Lord Palmer - it was what I would call a ‘very posh affair’!
“I’ve had a lot of messages of congratulation from customers and everyone at Apex. I’ve worked here since the start, we’re just like one big family.”
Doug Paterson, a partner at the practice, said: “Everyone is thrilled for Trudi. She works hard and her knowledge and passion for animal healthcare is a major asset for us.”