An animal lover who spends her time knitting crafts for a charity that helps vulnerable cats and dogs has won a community hero award.

Brenda Beazley, 69, has won the award because of the charity work she completes for the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) in Hertfordshire.

Mrs Beazley met the charity when she adopted her seven-year-old lurcher dog, Tyler in 2011 and saw the difference a pet can make to their owner.

She said: “The dog was to be company for my husband who had been very ill and was not in work at the time.

“He was feeling low because he was at home alone all day whilst I was at work. The dog made such a difference to him and got him out of the house.

“The staff at NAWT were obviously dedicated to rehoming unwanted pets and we immediately decided to support them initially by way of donations.”

Mrs Beazley retired from her position as Facilities Manager for Harrow Council in 2015 and she began to take up knitting and thought with her spare time she could volunteer for the charity.

She added: “My mother taught me to use a sewing machine when I was eight years old and I have been sewing off and on since.

“NAWT were looking for someone to make craft items for them to sell and raise funds for the animals. It was the perfect opportunity for me to help but also pursue my hobby.

“They asked me if I could make some fleece dog pyjamas for them to wear in the kennels during the winter.”

The charity also asked Ms Beazley to make bags, purses and make-up bags to sell on the craft stall at their fundraising events.

She added: “I love the challenge of making something from scratch knowing that the animals will benefit from my efforts.

I have always been an animal lover and the charity do such good work. I believe every animal deserves a safe, loving home.

“The smaller charities struggle to raise funds and so I will continue with my sewing as long as I can.”

When told about the award Mrs Beazley said: “I know I am appreciated by Jackie and her staff and I would consider it a great honour to be a community hero.”