Marvellous South Yorkshire mums in the running for national award

Gillian Headon from Rotherham has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015
Gillian Headon from Rotherham has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015
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Two supermums have been shortlisted in a national competition in recognition of their selfless actions to help others.

The touching stories of Sandra Howard, aged 59, from Sheffield, and Gillian Headon, 56, from Rotherham, were selected from thousands of UK nominations for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015.

Sandra Howard, from Sheffield, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015

Sandra Howard, from Sheffield, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015

As well as being busy mums, both women have gone to great lengths to help raise cash and awareness for worthy causes.

Sandra founded the charity Fable - For A Better Life With Epilepsy - after setting out initially to raise funds for her son Gareth, who suffers the medical condition, to undergo a revolutionary procedure called Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

Upon reaching her £5,500 target, the American manufacturers of the implant needed for the procedure heard of Sandra’s efforts and offered to give Gareth the implant free of charge.

So Sandra used the funds to set up her charity in 1995, and has since helped to raise almost £3 million to improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

Gillian equally impressed judges with her charity achievements.

The caring mum helped to organise a charity walk called Rush to Walk in memory of her friend, Sandra Rush, who passed away from breast cancer in 2004.

The first walk raised £24,000 which was donated to local charities, including Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and the Rotherham Breast Screening Centre.

The annual event has since raised more than £100,000 for Rotherham charities.

Gillian said: “So many people and so many charities benefit from the money we raise. It is really heart-warming.”

To mark the tenth anniversary of the awards, Tesco has donated £1,000 to a charity of each shortlisted mum’s choice.

Gillian opted to give the donation to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice while Sandra will put the money towards the Fable Dream Factory, which turns the dreams of epilepsy sufferers into reality.

Sandra said: “We are very grateful for the money - it will give a lot of happiness to others.”

The competition winners will be announced early next year following judging by a panel which includes DJ Sara Cox and TV personality Gabby Logan.