A MUM from Northwich has been named Cheshire Woman of the Year for her courage and determination to help children with cancer and their families.

Lynda Hill, from Redgate, won the prestigious award for her work setting up and leading The Joshua Tree children’s charity eight years ago after her youngest son’s battle with leukaemia.

Lynda and her husband David, who have three children, Adam, Beth and Josh, discovered that they could not do normal family activities when Josh was being treated because he had a low immune system.

This inspired them to set up The Joshua Tree to fundraise to build a holiday home where families going through similar experiences could enjoy free short breaks and respite in a safe setting.

The charity has already set up an interim support centre in Northwich town centre to offer families support and advice.

Lynda said: “Of course, it is a great privilege to be nominated and then receive this award for doing something which is very much close to my heart and has a positive impact on Cheshire families who are living through childhood cancers and leukaemia.

“What we experienced as a family when our son Josh received treatment for leukaemia made us determined to ensure that no family has to suffer the isolation that the treatment of the illness can bring.

“Building The Joshua Tree Holiday House and support centre will ensure that every family member can be supported and escape the confines of cancer treatment – even if only for a few days and this can really make a difference.

“Many children, parents and siblings need a break from being ‘carers’ as much as the child undergoing treatment needs a break from the hospital wards and by building our holiday house in the heart of the Cheshire countryside we hope to bring that tranquil, fun family space that is very much needed.”

The Cheshire Woman of the Year award, launched in 1985, recognises the hard work and dedication of women in Cheshire from every walk of life who have been nominated to celebrate their personal courage, outstanding professional achievement or service to the community in which they live.

For more information about The Joshua Tree visit thejoshuatree.org.uk or call 01606 331858.