A DEDICATED lady from Gresty who has spent every Sunday for the past decade litter picking, has been chosen as the Crewe, Nantwich and Sandbach Community Hero 2012.

Theresa Reilly, 73, was selected from a shortlist of worthy contenders for her tireless voluntary efforts making neighbourhoods along Crewe Road look spick and span.

She was nominated for the award by friend Johnny O’Brien, who said it made his day to see such community spirit.

Theresa said: “I’m really surprised. I get one or two people now and then that come past and say ‘you’re doing a grand job there’, but I just do it because I like to see things tidy.”

A former Widdowson’s engineering employee, Theresa made components for Rolls Royce before later working for Harvey’s sandwich bar on Nantwich Road.

“I used to come along the road on my bike on the way to work. I used to think what a mess everywhere was. It brings the area down when you can see a lot of litter,” she explained.

“I just started picking on my own; every Sunday. I go out early because the roads are very busy where we live.

“One particular Sunday I was litter picking and a bloke pulled up and said I was doing a great job. He was from the council, and said I was saving the council money by doing it.”

The council later commended Theresa for her work, and provided her with a litter picker, which she pairs with high visibility clothing - borrowed from husband Andy’s days working on the railways.

“I’ve never known a woman like her; she’s so dedicated,” Andy told The Guardian.

Community Hero sponsors, Crewe-based telecommunications company, eZe-Talk, will award Theresa a £500prize and £500 to a charity of her choice. Johnny gets £100 for his nomination.

Steve Walsh, managing director from eZe-Talk, said: “Theresa is a worthy winner and typifies what is required to be a real community hero. Her tireless litter picking has made a tangible difference to the local area. It’s wonderful that she has so much pride in her town. Thank you on behalf of Crewe. It shows that one person’s actions can make a real difference to the whole community.”

Steve added: “I would also like to congratulate our shortlisted nominees, who are all community heroes. Each and every one is worthy of recognition for the selfless work they do for the area.”

Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, said: "It was a real privilege when reading the nominations to learn about so many heroes in our community, including those like Theresa, who have worked tirelessly and unselfishly without any recognition for their efforts. They all deserve our thanks. Congratulations to Theresa for setting such a fine example to us all."

Starting out at her home, opposite Chehsire Cheese, Theresa cleans either side of Crewe Road up to the YMCA, before making her way around a neighbouring estate and Rope Lane.

She spends every Sunday between 6.45-11am litter picking.

Take time to congratulate Theresa on our website.