A HEREFORD woman who cared for her neighbour for 20 years said she never expected to be thanked for something she enjoyed.

Jean Heath, from Tupsley, visited her elderly neighbour, Phyllis Murray, almost every day to help her in and out of bed and to carry out chores.

Jean, who cared for Mrs Murray until her death in December, aged 97, is the latest recipient of a Herefordshire Hero award.

She said: "I was shocked to find out I had won the award. I would think anyone would do what I did.

"Because I always had to be home by 11pm to help Mrs Murray to bed, people would sometimes moan and ask why I did it. But it was just natural to me and I enjoyed helping and seeing her. I knew I could always go to her for a chat or a moan.

"Although she needed help with some things she was very independent and would always go to town and do her own shopping. She made sure she went to church every Sunday.

"She was a really lovely woman and a very strong character."

Although Jean said she didn't expect any thanks, she said she was "very pleased" to receive the award.

She added: "I like to think most people would do what I did, and perhaps I'm a bit old-fashioned but I think people should always look out for one another.

"Mrs Murray said she was never lonely and she had carers that went in to see her too, but it wasn't a chore for me to see her.

"I do miss seeing her every day and I know she appreciated my help - she would often say she didn't know what she would do without me. Her son, who lives in Australia, called me her guardian angel. But helping her came naturally."

Every month, the Hereford Times and the Great British Florist will join forces to give someone worthy of recognition a bouquet of flowers.

To nominate your Herefordshire Hero, email details to fiona.phillips@herefordtimes.com.