A Buckinghamshire council social worker assistant has been recognised nationally for her outstanding efforts in the battle against COVID-19.

Teresa Howard-Birt, who is also a Domestic Abuse Champion, has been awarded a silver medal in both the Essential Workers of Britain and NHS Volunteers categories of the Heroes of 2020 awards.

READ MORE: ‘W.A.R. against HS2': Protesters camp out in treehouses on railway route

Volunteering at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Guttman vaccination centre Teresa has made sure the most vulnerable people across the UK safely received their first COVID-19 vaccinations.

Teresa's efforts during the pandemic began back in the first lockdown when she sewed scrubs, headbands and scrub bags for local NHS staff.

She also got involved in delivering prescriptions to those who were shielding, baked rainbow cookies for care homes and even painted pebbles with motivational words and designs, dotting them around Aylesbury to give a boost to those who saw them when out and about.

On receiving the award Teresa said: “: “When I first heard I had been nominated I felt very proud but there are so many people out there doing more than me.

“I wouldn’t call myself a ‘hero’ – I just felt lucky to be able to help and give something back to the community.

ALSO READ: Here are some outdoor activities you can enjoy in Bucks as restrictions ease

“This disease has taken us all by surprise and turned lives upside down.

One thing that I've noticed across Buckinghamshire is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times which is nice to see."

“My family and friends are delighted that I have been given this award and said I should be proud.

"I know my late father would also be proud.”

The awards

Bucks Free Press:

Nominated by Christine Green, a retired nurse from Buckinghamshire NHS Trust, Teresa has contributed to meeting national vaccination targets for cohorts one to nine.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Chief Executive, Rachael Shimmin, has also commended the ‘off duty’ work Teresa has been involved in to help out in the local community.

READ MORE: 'Keira Knightley and David Hasselhoff have filmed in my house!': The modest Wycombe home that has hosted famous stars

She said: “I am extremely proud of all of our staff for the way they have supported residents, vulnerable people and generally kept services going over the past year – many of them also helping out like Teresa ‘off duty’ in their local communities too.

“They have all done a phenomenal job.

“This is an opportunity to thank all of them and say we couldn’t have done it without you.”