Marathon heroine Claire Lomas wins Tesco's Courageous Mum of the Year award
Paralysed London Marathon heroine Claire Lomas has collected Tesco's Courageous Mum of the Year award at a star-studded awards ceremony at London's Savoy hotel.
The award by the company's magazine celebrates women who raise money for charity or selflessly help others, despite having their own challenges to overcome.
Claire received the honour in front of a celebrity-filled audience, including Arlene Phillips, Michelle Heaton, Joe Swash, David Haye, Rylan Clark, Amy Childs and Chelsee Healey.
Claire said: "I feel excited and very honoured. It's an amazing award.
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"It was an amazing, unbelievable day. I enjoyed the whole lot from start to finish.
"Everyone there was incredible and I felt really spoilt.
"I didn't sleep much last night because I was still buzzing."
Yesterday, Claire and the six other winners were given a reception at 10 Downing Street, where they were given a tour and spoke to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Claire said: "I met him before, when I lit the Paralympic cauldron. He's really easy to talk to and was asking me about my latest charity fund-raiser."
The Tesco award is the latest in a long line of honours won by the 32-year-old, who was left paralysed from the chest down in a competitive horse-riding event.
She and her husband Dan Spincer, who live at Eye Kettleby, near Melton, have a two-year-old daughter, Maisie.
Claire won the hearts of the nation when she completed the marathon over 17 days last year wearing a robotic suit.
She raised more than £200,000 for Spinal Research through her efforts and lit the Paralympic Games ceremonial cauldron in Trafalgar Square last summer.
Claire's story touched the hearts of the awards' judging panel, including TV presenters Emma Forbes and Cherry Healey, athlete Denise Lewis and Susanna Scott, the founder of Britmums.
Nominated by her friend Jayne Keeley – the mum of someone she helped teach to ride horses – Claire's story was selected from among thousands of nominations.
She was presented with her award on Sunday night by TV presenters Helen Fospero and Rav Wilding.
Claire's next fund-raising event in April will involve using a specially-adapted bike to cycle 400 miles around England, to raise more money for Spinal Research and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
She will be visiting about 40 primary and secondary schools to talk to pupils about the importance of fighting on through adversity and enjoying an active lifestyle.
Tesco's Paul Morris said: "It is a privilege to be able to recognise the achievements of an amazing mum like Claire.
"In the face of adversity, she found the strength to, not only rebuild her own life, but also raise thousands of pounds for others."