Rose of Northamptonshire award for 'Lockdown Legend' Mother Christmas

She has been honoured for her work helping looked after children

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 11:00 am
Jeanette Walsh has been honoured for her fundraising work
Jeanette Walsh has been honoured for her fundraising work

Super carer Jeanette Walsh aka Mother Christmas has once again been honoured for her extraordinary fundraising work across the county with a Rose of Northamptonshire Award.

For the past 18 years, former social worker Jeanette has dedicated herself to collecting toys and gifts for the county's most disadvantaged children with an annual toy appeal to ensure some Christmas magic finds its way to children in care in the county.

In 2020 as Covid struck, the 63-year-old turned her sights on making sure the festive spirit was undiminished by the pandemic and with the help of this newspaper, more than £17,500 was raised to buy gifts for those children in need..

Now Jeanette will be honoured at an online Zoom ceremony for her selfless work in the awards that seek to highlight those in every sector in the county that have played a key role during the pandemic.

Jeanette said: "Someone nominated me but I don't know who.

"I never feel I do more than anyone else.

"My heart and passion is to help others.

"I was absolutely chuffed to bits to get the call about this award. It will be an honour.

"I don't see I do anything that is extraordinary, and it keeps me busy."

Her passion for helping youngsters stems from the time she was in care, put there to avoid her abusive parents.

After spending 10 years in a children's home from the day before her sixth birthday, Jeanette became a social worker, ending up as the coordinator for the toy appeal - read her story here .

Jeanette has been honoured twice before, once by former colleagues at Northamptonshire County Council for her 'exceptional service' with the leaving care team, and the other from her current Nandos colleagues naming her as one of their Lockdown Legends for all the 'amazing' work she does.

The Rose of Northamptonshire awards scheme was designed by Northamptonshire County Council and its leader, as well as the formal institutions of the High Sheriff's office and Lord Lieutenancy, to recognise that many across the county have committed themselves to response and relief efforts since the beginning of the outbreak.