She sewed scrubs for NHS staff during lockdown and now her efforts have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Sewing tutor Brenda McCutcheon helped her students produce masks, gowns, hats and scrub bags for hospital and hospice workers when supplies were low during lockdown.

And her efforts during the pandemic, as well as her 22-year commitment to teaching, has bagged her the British Empire Medal.

"I feel privileged, pleased and proud to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours", said Brenda, who teaches through Newcastle City Council's adult education service.

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"I've loved supporting my students to follow their dreams and help the NHS by using their sewing skills.

"They worked together to help make much-needed items at the beginning of the pandemic when PPE was in short supply.

"I feel very proud to have helped them and very happy to be given this award", she added.

The British Empire Medal was founded in 1917 and is awarded for 'hands on' service to the local community.

The award was reintroduced in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and around 300 are awarded each year.

The British Empire Medal recognises Brenda's service to adult education and her determination to support her students and the wider community, even when she ended up in hospital herself after a fall.

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She continued to teach and support those in her class so that they could produce hundreds of good quality items for hospital and hospice workers, using material from duvet covers and curtain linings.

But she credits the students for their continuous work during the pandemic and explained that none of the work would have been possible if it wasn't for them.

Brenda, from Denton Burn, said: "I'm so proud of my students and Covid has given them the opportunity to fly.

"They were working in their own time to make the scrub bags, masks and hats and I feel privileged that I was able to help them use their skills."

Cllr Paula Holland, cabinet member for education and skills at Newcastle City Council, Congratulated Brenda on her British Empire Medal.

Cllr Holland said: "Brenda is passionate about teaching people to sew and over the years she has shared her expertise, knowledge and skills with hundreds of learners.

"When her students told her they wanted to make scrubs for the NHS at the start of the pandemic she gave them all the support they needed – even sending them video tutorials and instructions from her hospital bed.

"Brenda has made an amazing contribution and I am delighted that this has been recognised.

"This award is very well-deserved and I would like to offer Brenda my warmest congratulations."