A LEARNING support assistant from St Martins is in the running for a prestigious award.

Heather Jones, who works at St Martins School, has been named as a finalist for the West Midlands regional Pride of Britain Award after receiving an ‘astounding’ number of nominations for her community work.

The 50-year-old has raised more than £15,000 in charity fundraisers, as well as helping to set up a foodbank in the village, plus fun community events to keep people occupied during lockdown.

She said she has been overwhelmed by the kindness of those who nominated her.

She said: “I am very proud to have been nominated, but I do what I do not for recognition, but because I want to help people.

“I didn’t realise that so many people in the village would nominate me – it shocked me.

“There was one nomination in particular from a lady who I know by name but not too well personally, and she had written the most fabulous, wonderful things about me.

“It was that nomination which got me into the final for the regional award, and that really touched me.”

Heather has previously raised money for Hope House Children’s Hospice, Nightingale House Hospice and Walk the Walk breast cancer charity.

She has run in events including the Great North Run and the Walk the Walk MoonWalks, doing so wearing hand-sewn bras which she designs.

Border Counties Advertizer: Heather JonesHeather Jones

Alongside her job as an LSA and her fundraising efforts, Heather also helps out at the village centre in St Martins and volunteers at the foodbank, and is chairman of the Parent Teacher Association at the school.

Headteacher at St Martins School Sue Lovecy described Heather as an incredible person.

She said: “Heather has worked here for 15 years as an LSA working with our students, and she is known for her work within the community.

“She’s just an incredible person – I don’t know how she fits in everything she does, it’s just amazing.

“She doesn’t stop – she’s fantastic.

“Heather holds the community together. She is like the glue of the community and she’s like that in school as well.

“The children trust her with anything.”

Heather added: “The support I’ve had over the years is amazing.

“I’m always asking for money for fundraisers, but people in my family and in the village are so supportive.

“Without that support, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I’ve done fundraising-wise.”

Heather is a finalist for the ITV Central Pride of Britain Regional Fundraising Award, with the winner of the award set to be announced on Friday at 6pm.