NORMA Duke, backed by her team of trusty volunteers, rolled up their sleeves and got busy in the Alton Community Hospital garden at the Chawton Park Road site.

And it proved to be just one of the reasons Norma was singled out to receive a special lifetime achievement award last November at the East Hampshire Volunteer Awards ceremony at Petersfield Festival Hall.

An ambassador for Alton Community Hospital, who retired five years ago having worked in different departments including the fracture clinic and on reception, Norma not only helps to look after the hospital garden but, for the past 25 years, has worked tirelessly to support families in need overseas.

Now in her sixties, and a busy globe-trotting grandmother, Norma still acts as a collection point for urgently-needed medical supplies, working on behalf of several international organisations.

And twice a year she travels out to Romania to deliver her often life-saving donations.