This goes out to my mum, Pat Hanson who has given everything into raising me, my brother Peter and my sister Ann. My earliest memory of my mother is seeing her with wellington boots on, covered in mud. She had just finished a shift picking potatoes at a farm about 2 miles from our home. Tough work, even tougher when you consider that my mum was holding down another two jobs to help keep our family’s head above water.

When I was around the age of 13 my mother permanently damaged her back while lifting boxes in a factory. About a year after this her own mother started to suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, grandma and granddad moved in and lived with us for years, mum helped nurse her with love and affection everyday. Sadly her mother died after a few years, and a few years after this granddad became ill. Mum gave herself over to looking after granddad. She did this with the grace and love that only a dedicated daughter can. When I reached the age of about 27 my granddad died of cancer. Mum was crushed.

All the children had flown the nest, which just left mum and dad (who is also pretty awesome) at home. This is where most people would begin to get old and tired, God knows she was entitled to. But not my mum, my mum started to bloom. She got busy. Taking up a role on the local board of education, helping the local government win elections, and becoming a major player in the village community centre. You will find my mum writing for the press on gardening tips, or sewing clothes at the school for children’s plays or holding a raffle for the elderly, my mum is almost an octogenarian herself. Mum and Dad have made a marriage that is an example to all of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My mum cares about people, she keeps herself busy looking out for others, she has principles, honesty, and the grit to stick to them. If I could be half the person my mum is I would be pretty proud of myself. Mum you are a marvel and I love you so much.