An obstetrics secretary’s dedication to helping mothers and families after the loss of a baby has earned her the title of Unsung Hero.

Laura Bell, who works in maternity services at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, received the accolade at a national awards ceremony.

She received the admin and clerical Everyday Hero award at a glitzy event in Manchester after being by one of the midwives.

The Unsung Hero Awards recognise the contribution to the NHS of non-clinical staff and volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Laura was one of 158 people who were nominated nationally.

It was Andrea Ewing, a specialist bereavement midwife at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, who put her forward.

She said she wanted to show her appreciation for the work Laura does in the department - particularly her dedication to mothers and families suffering a pregnancy loss.

Andrea said: “Although I can recite many examples of what Laura brings to the job, I nominated her because of her dedication to the work I am involved in.

“I work with bereaved families who have had the misfortune of losing their baby in pregnancy or shortly after.

“Laura has taken a real interest in what happens to them and ensures she is aware of the situation behind each loss. I am reassured that when I am not in work, Laura is there if anyone gets in touch and she will inform me if there is anything urgent. I am delighted that Laura has been recognised for all of her hard work and commitment.”

Speaking after her win, Laura said: “I am completely overwhelmed to have won this award. The nomination itself came as a huge surprise to me so actually winning totally blew me away. It is a massive achievement for me.

“I have been amazed by the support from all my colleagues, both maternity and women’s outpatients. I feel honoured that my manager Andrea took the time to nominate me.

“The awards ceremony in Manchester was brilliant - there were so many inspiring nominations, it was great to be a part of it. I am truly humbled.”