A WOMAN who has continued to support friends and family despite ill-health and the sudden death of her husband has been nominated Britain’s friendliest face.

A WOMAN who has continued to support friends and family despite ill-health and the sudden death of her husband has been nominated Britain's friendliest face.

Susan Mudge of Eaton Socon came top in the National Friendly Face Awards run by specialist health insurer National Friendly last month.

The 63 year old beat hundreds of other entries to scoop the award, which includes a luxury weekend break for two at a Shire Hotel Resort and Spa.

She was nominated by her friend Elizabeth Wood, who said she always gave up her time to listen and support others.

Mrs Mudge was diagnosed with dystonia, a condition which causes involuntary muscle spasms 15 years ago. She suffers with the condition in her neck and arms, and has to go to hospital every three months for injections.

As former secretary of the Cambridgeshire Dystonia support group she would provide help and guidance for people who have recently been diagnosed with the condition.

“When you first get it because you never heard of it, you think you are alone and nobody understands. But when you get to know people who the same condition, they are lovely and it helps.

“It took 18 months for the condition to be diagnosed for me. Nobody would take any notice. But some of my colleagues, it has taken ten years for them. People do not know about it. The GPs know nothing about it, but it is being talked a bit more now.”

Mrs Mudge gave up the role in the group following the death of husband Mike in September 2008 and the Cambridgeshire group subsequently collapsed, though a Norfolk branch continues to look after members.

About her award, Mrs Mudge said: “I feel so humbled to have been nominated for the Friendliest Face award, let alone to have won it. When it comes to helping people, it's second nature to me, I never think about it, I just do it.”

National Friendly chief executive, Richard Sear, said: “Congratulations to Susan, who is a very worthy winner of our first ever National Friendly Face Awards.

“Susan has obviously made a positive and friendly impact on the people around her and cares very much about their well-being. It is great to have people like her around and I'm delighted that her friend took the time to nominate this remarkable lady.”

National Friendly launched its awards scheme in recognition of the invaluable effect that positive and friendly people have on the community.