She is the best mum in the world to her four children, and Alison Watson may soon have an award to prove it.
Mrs Watson, 42, of Claytons Way, Huntingdon, has been nominated for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2013 thanks to her work with Down’s Syndrome support group Small Steps.
Her entry was whittled down from thousands of nominations to make it to the final 30 – which will see her receive a full makeover and her own Tesco Living magazine photo shoot, before taking part in an awards ceremony at The Savoy Hotel if she is selected to be one of the winning mums.
She said: “It was a surprise to say the least, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe it - it’s lovely.”
Her nomination came from Rebekah Docherty, one of the mums who have been supported by Small Steps.
She said: “Alison is amazing; she is a selfless and funny woman who has time for everyone. How she does it I do not know.”
Mrs Watson, whose 5-year-old daughter Freya has Down’s Syndrome, set up Small Steps in 2010 to help other children with the condition and their parents.
The group meets weekly with activities including sensory play, singing and signing, dance classes, baby massage crafts and outdoor play.
From small beginnings helping a friend of a neighbour who had a baby with Down’s Syndrome, she soon extended the group by getting in touch with other parents via Dr Nik Johnson, a paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Small Steps now supports 14 families, plus 7 who Mrs Watson communicates with online.
Her entry will now be judged by a celebrity panel including DJ Sara Cox, TV personality Gabby Logan and sports presenter Denise Lewis, ahead of the glamorous awards ceremony in March.
If she is successful, she will follow in the footsteps of Julie Jones, who won the Tesco Compassionate Mum of the Year award last year after opening her three-bedroom Stukeley Meadows home to the children of her best friend after both she and her husband died within six months of each other.
She said: “If I won it would be terrifying but at the same time it would be really really lovely because I have worked really hard for this group and I love them all so much.”
INFORMATION: The group meets at the Huntingdon Town Children’s Centre in Ambury Road, Huntingdon on Fridays from 1pm to around 2.45pm. It is open to families affected by Down’s Syndrome from expectant mothers upwards. Call Alison on 01480 414504 or email email@example.com for more information.