A mum has shared her joy after being awarded two regional awards for her valuable work helping the community.

Melanie Lord, 31, from Lowestoft, has won both a joint Changing Lives Special Recognition Award by Suffolk Business Awards and Community Hero of the Year Award by Stars of Norfolk and Waveney.

Miss Lord, a beautician, was awarded for her work creating a set of visual cards for her autistic son to help him understand the coronavirus crisis which were rolled out to doctor’s surgeries, hospitals and schools.

Miss Lord was also awarded for her work alongside her son, Harry Lord, for raising £295 by completing a five-mile walk which went towards a new defibrillator at St Benedict's Pre-School.

Lowestoft Journal: Miss Lord being presented with the awards.Miss Lord being presented with the awards. (Image: Melanie Lord)

Reacting to the news of winning both the awards, Miss Lord said: "When I realised I won both awards I felt so proud.

"My goal is to make lives more inclusive and to ensure those with special needs are included."

Miss Lord is the only person in Lowestoft to win both awards.

She said: "The Special Recognition Award is a joint award but winning the Stars of Waveney and Norfolk just meant so much to me.

"A few tears were shed. It just felt fantastic. It feels like we are really making a difference here in Waveney.

"I do this all for my son Harry who suffers with autism and for other adults so that their voice can be heard in the community."

Lowestoft Journal: Melanie holding the Suffolk Business Awards.Melanie holding the Suffolk Business Awards. (Image: Melanie Lord)

Winning the awards has spurred on Miss Lord to create more positive change within the community.

She said: "Without these awards it would never highlight the incredible diversity within our community.

"People may not be aware about the work that goes on to help vulnerable members in our community and these awards are designed to highlight these issues.

"It also helps these people know that they are listened to and that they are not alone.

"For the future I plan to work with local councils and schools to roll this out with them so that those with special needs have instant access to material that is helpful to them."

Miss Lord is looking for more help from within the community and if you want to help Melanie you can contact her via email at beautybymelaniexx@gmail.com.