A MOTHER-of-three from Oswaldtwistle has been nominated for a prestigious award honouring her contributions to the community.
Patricia Batt, 40, of Roe Greave Road, has been put forward for Lancashire Woman of the Year by her friend and neighbour Mary Baines.
Pat, who lives with her husband Andrew and three children, Rachel, 16, Patrick, 12, and Paul, nine, has suffered from arthritis since the age of 16.
Athough looking after son Patrick is a full-time job as he suffers from ADHD, autism and dyspraxia, she still finds the time to help out other people.
Pat started her voluntary work in Lourdes in 1979, where she worked every summer for five years. She now works with parents of children with ADHD, with the Lancashire Parent Partnership Scheme, which helps children with difficulties at school, and at an Oswaldtwistle primary school with children with reading or writing difficulties.
Mary said: "Above all, Pat is a neighbour who helps anybody, running the elderly to church, offering help anyway she can.
She is a true believer in community spirit and will listen and be there for anyone who needs it. She is non-judgemental and caring and has a great sense of humour which sees people through difficult times."
"Patrick has been at eight schools since the age of four. It's not his fault, he has an illness of the brain.
"The whole family have had years of medication and difficulties and Pat has faced judgemental people who have blamed her for bad parenting, which she has done with courage."
At 16 Pat had the first of many injections into her knuckles for arthritis. By the time her third child was born her knuckles had collapsed completely and had to be replaced with artificial joints in both hands.
But Mary said that despite her poor health and problems, Pat is always there for her friends and neighbours.
She said: "What makes Pat deserving of this award is that when you put all three issues together, she does face tough days. Yet she still volunteers for work, despite being in pain, she still listens to parents in need, despite having tough days with Patrick, and she keeps going, believing in helping others as much as she can. She's a star."
Pat said she was overjoyed by the nomination. She added: "My friends and family are over the moon.
"It's nice of somebody to think of me. I have got really good friends and the support I have had over the years is amazing.''
Pat will be attending a presentation lunch at Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho, next week, with Mary and friends Jean Robinson, Lynne Armstrong and Eva Walmsley, when she will find out if she has won the award. The group will be travelling to Langho by limousine.