A dedicated community worker from St Ives - who has helped support dozens of homeless people - was thanked on BBC’s The One Show by a member of boyband Westlife.

Michelle Laing was nominated for The One Show’s ‘One Big Thank You’ by her friend and Morrison’s community champion Denise Gable.

Michelle has helped those in need get off the streets and be rehoused while distributing food parcels for struggling families during lockdown.

BBC’s The One Show stepped in to offer a surprise treat for Michelle with help from Westlife’s Nicky Byrne from her favourite boyband.

It came as she was invited to cut the ribbon on a new community room at Morrison’s in St Ives, which will open for use by local groups and schools once the pandemic is over.

Michelle Laing was nominated for The One Show’s ‘One Big Thank You’. Picture: Denise GableMichelle Laing was nominated for The One Show’s ‘One Big Thank You’. Picture: Denise Gable

Appearing on the show last night (July 16) Michelle was shown a special video clip from Nicky who invited her to a Westlife concert and thanked her all she has done.

“Well done for looking after the most vulnerable people in society,” Nicky said.

“You have championed that and led by example, so come down and say hi to us at our next big show.”

But that wasn’t the end of the surprise for Michelle – outside the store the St Ives Community Choir was waiting to sing one of her favourite Westlife songs ‘You Raise Me Up’.

Surprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYERSurprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYER

She said: “I don’t feel like I deserve this – I was not expecting to appear on The One Show but it is very touching.”

Clips were shown of various people who Michelle had helped along the way and friend Denise,

“Over the last five years Michelle has been helping feed the homeless and during lockdown there had been emphasise on families struggling to feed their children,” Denise said.

“But Michelle has a lot of empathy for people and is out in all weathers helping them get off the streets.

Surprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYERSurprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYER

“There is no one more deserving than her.”

Michelle heads up the Facebook group ‘Helping the homeless and people in need in Cambridgeshire’.

There are more than 300 members who donate food and supplies and also help to distribute them.

Local charity, Dump & Deliver, has also joined her group and is providing used toys for children to enjoy.

Surprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYERSurprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYER

The Morrisons £10m food pledge has helped Michelle’s campaign.

She was also presented with an engraved medal from Stanjay Sports in Godmanchester.

Bookings will be taken for the new community room when it is safe for it to be in use.

Surprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYERSurprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYER

Surprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYERSurprise thank you for St Ives community worker Michelle Laing with help from Westlife�s Nicky Byrne. Picture: ARCHANT/ BBC IPLAYER

The One Show filmed at the Morrisons store in St Ives.The One Show filmed at the Morrisons store in St Ives.

Crowds gathered at the Morrisons store, in St Ives,  for the One Big Thank YouCrowds gathered at the Morrisons store, in St Ives, for the One Big Thank You

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