A HEREFORD mum who battled against the odds to care for her child has seen her hard work rewarded.

Sheridan Butterfield became a parent carer as an army wife in Germany 18 years ago, when her third child, Dale, was born with a defective third chromosome leaving him with complex medical needs and profound learning difficulties.

Her experience of looking after a sick child as well as two other children, in a foreign country with litte help, led her to co-found the Parent Carer Support Group.

She also went on to chair the Parent Carer Voice, a group campaigning for better support for families who have a child with a disability.

In 2006, Sheridan registered with Herefordshire Carers Support (HCS), and volunteered for the telephone advice and listening service.

She went on to train as a “parent befriender” and used this and her own experience to teach new health visitors, midwives and school nurses.

Sheridan’s work with her peers has now been recognised with a Marsh Award for Carers for the Midlands region.

She said: “I have learned so much from being a carer for my son and thanks to getting involved with Herefordshire Carers Support, I now know my rights as a carer.

“I know how to use them and I have the confidence to do so and to share what I have learnt with others.”

Jacqui Bremner, director of HCS, said that Sheridan was an inspiration.

“Her personal integrity, grit, compassion and growing skills have contributed significantly to improving the lives of other families in Herefordshire,” she said.

* HCS is holding a pamper day for parent carers in Hereford Town Hall on Tuesday. For more information, call 01432 356068.