Pauline Heryet has been supporting people with learning difficulties in Worthing for more than 30 years.
She was nominated by her friend Terry Smith and won a bed of her choice, worth up to £2,000, from Sussex Beds.
In his nomination, Terry said: “Through Pauline’s hard work, she has assisted in building and running Worthing Mencap Local and also helped to set up Sussex Seals, a club that has grown into the sport activity group Out There West Sussex.
“Pauline organises the annual Worthing Mencap Sport and Fun Day held at Worthing Leisure Centre and the annual Worthing Mencap Christmas Fayre. She’s also an active trustee of Worthing Mencap and volunteers in the charity shop.”
Keen for the prize to benefit Worthing Mencap, Pauline donated it to Janet Williamson, a fellow committee member.
Janet explained: “When Pauline told us she had won a new bed, we were all delighted for her. However, she said she wanted the prize to benefit the charity somehow.
“I was going to buy a new bed, so she donated the prize to me and we gave what we would have spent on a new bed to Worthing Mencap, so everyone wins.”
The competition sought nominations for people who make a difference to others. The company made a final shortlist of three and put it to public vote, where Pauline scooped nearly half of all the votes.
Pauline said she was ‘rendered quite speechless’ when Terry told her about his nomination.
“I couldn’t believe I had been shortlisted and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” she added.
“Worthing Mencap is a wonderful charity, helping children and adults with learning disabilities locally, and it has been an absolute pleasure to support them over the years.”
Pauline and Janet went to the Worthing store, which opened last year, to choose the prize.
Steve Pickering, managing director, said: “We have been serving the south east for more than 30 years, so we decided to create a set of awards that gave something back to the people in the community who are making a difference to other people’s lives.
“The least they deserve is a great night’s sleep for their tireless efforts.
“Congratulations to Pauline for receiving the most public votes. She really deserved to win with her sterling efforts over more than a quarter of a century and making a positive difference to hundreds of people’s lives.”