‘Lifesaver’ is a champion

My hero. Joan O'Connor pictured with Peter Carroll.
My hero. Joan O'Connor pictured with Peter Carroll.

A DISABLED pensioner has hailed a community worker as a “hero” after he saved her from the depths of the Arctic winter.

Joan O’Connor, 67, was left freezing in her privately-owned Owton Manor home in Hartlepool when her boiler stopped working.

The mother of six and grandmother of 10 was struggling to live on her state pension and couldn’t afford repairs.

Joan said: “I was worried sick and not in very good health.”

The great grandmother of three was beginning to feel the cold as pre-Christmas snow began to fall.

She phoned the Connected Care service based in the Kilmarnock Road community resource centre, and they sent out Peter Carroll, 37.

Peter, a navigator with Connected Care, arranged for emergency heaters to be installed in Joan’s home within an hour of her call. She described his actions as “lifesaving”.

But he Peter further than that.

● He signed Joan onto a Winter Warmth programme to make sure she got hot cooked meals delivered to her door.

● He arranged for Joan to get a daily phone call to make sure she was okay.

● He made arrangements for a new boiler to be installed.

● And he stayed with Joan while the boiler was fitted within three weeks of her first call.

Today, a grateful Joan said: “They broke the mould when they made Peter.”

And as her way of saying thank you, Joan has nominated Peter for a Pride of Hartlepool Award.

She said: “He went the extra mile for me and Connected Care should feel very proud of him.He should be given a community champion award.”

Joan, who has arthritis, vertigo and leg disabilities, said: “I didn’t have the funds to pay for the repairs.”

She said Peter’s actions were lifesaving and added: “I don’t know what I would have done without the support of Peter.”

The reluctant community hero said: “It is nice to be nominated but it was a big surprise.”

This year there are 10 categories in which you can nominate the unsung heroes in the town.

Whether you know a fantastic fundraiser or a community stalwart, we want to hear all about those who deserve praise and have done something special.

Simply fill in the form on this page and send it to us or enter online or on tablet by following the links.

Details of how to get them to us are on the nomination form. The deadline for entries is February 27.

Anyone wanting further information about the Pride of Hartlepool Awards should contact the Mail’s deputy editor, Gavin Foster, on (01429) 239372 or email gavin.foster@jpress.co.uk