A DEDICATED mother whose efforts have helped raise her son through years of struggles has been thanked and praised by her devoted daughter.

Sheila Bell, 63, from Crook, has been praised by her daughter Molly, 25, for the years of care and attention she has given to her brother Alex, 22.

Alex was diagnosed at aged two with autism and required special care for the condition as he grew up.

Sheila, who was born in Kendal and grew up in Hawkshead, formerly worked at a Post Office and during lockdown worked as a mid-day supervisor at St Martin & St Mary Church school in Windermere where she looked after the children of key workers during the lockdown.

Molly said: “She’s been so incredible throughout our lives and we love her so much.

“It’s particularly her looking after of Alex because with his condition he has no speech, and with the pandemic he has difficulty understanding things like masks and social distancing so even going to the shops isn’t easy. But she loves him, and she just does it.

“She’s often having to fight for his corner, deal with lots of life changes with him. More than ever, it’s been extremely challenging during the pandemic and supporting and caring for my brother when he doesn’t understand elements of it.

“As a mum she just juggles everything in together, but she always has time for us and everyone else.”

Sheila has raised three children, Alex, Phoebe and Mary, and is married to husband Andrew.

Molly, who nominated Sheila for Person of the Week, added: “My Mum’s friend has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and I see my Mum being so incredibly support to her friend.

“As well as dealing with my brother and caring for him as well as working. Gentle, caring, sees the good in so much, and so lovely.

“She genuinely does put so many others ahead of herself. She may have had some bad news, or be worrying about something, but she’s always there for you.

“She has all her own things going on, but she’ll just be there for everyone else. She supports them, speaks with them, and comforts them.

“She’s a very selfless person who will ring her friends where they can just talk and talk for hours.

“My mum is a very selfless and loyal person, and we are so grateful for her. Every single day she gives us new reasons to appreciate her.

"Thank you so much mum, from all of us. We love you so much.”