A WOMAN who has helped keep families together at difficult times of their lives has become the first recipient of a Swindon Advertiser Unsung Hero Award.

Mum-of-one Dawn Prosser, 50, of Gorse Hill, was nominated by 29-year-old Gemma Rigley, who has been taken under her wing several times.

Dawn runs a mother and baby placement for families in difficult circumstances who may otherwise lose their children.

As well as this, she runs the Gateway Furniture project with her husband Kevin, 49, and Healthy Options, a healthy cooking scheme for people on a budget.

She was delighted to be nominated and was presented with a bouquet of flowers this week.

“I was really excited when I found out but a bit embarrassed because there are so many people that do good things, but I am pleased,” she said.

“I took Gemma in when she was 16 for three years. Then she left for 10 years but got herself into a bit of a difficult situation so I took her back in again. I had a feeling she was doing something because she asked me for a stamp.

“The families will live with my husband and I usually for about four to six months and it can be quite intensive.

“Sometimes I’m not even allowed to be in a different room than them. You have to be with them all the time.

“I haven’t got a massive house so it is full on but I really enjoy it.

“Basically you are making a difference to a family and it is a case of doing what we can with what we have. If we can see families restored rather than break down, help people keep their babies or make a family’s life better then we have done our job.”

Gemma said: “She just never stops – sometimes she can be working until 1am and she never complains. Even when she is ill, she carries on working.”

To find out more about our Unsung Heroes, or to make a nomination click here