A Worcester woman and her dog who visit patients in hospital have been awarded a prestigious new award.

Lesley Fage and her border collie Aero are the first ever winners of the Pam St Clement's ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award, which was presented at Crufts.

The pair volunteer for a charity called Therapy Dogs Nationwide, which involves dogs visiting people in hospitals, hospices, care homes, as well as special needs and mainstream schools.

Lesley, of St Peter's, Worcester, takes Aero to five different wards of Royal Worcestershire Hospital so he can meet the patients and soothe them with his friendly canine presence.

She joined the charity shortly after it was set up, and is now an area team leader. After joining she realised that there were not any other volunteers in the area, and so she trained to become an assessor, which now means that she can assess potential therapy dogs' temperament before they join. Since she finished her training as an assessor, Lesley has brought four more volunteers on board.

These were all the reasons why she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year trophy, presented by former EastEnders actress Pam St Clement.

She said: "Volunteering with Aero is so rewarding and to win this award was such an honour."

For more information visit therapydogsnationwide.org