SHE puts a smile on their faces and spreads a little bit of happiness in their hour of need.

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For the last six months Mags Pinkerton has volunteered at Ipswich Hospital, cutting patients’ hair to help them feel better.

She never asks for anything in return – but now the 51-year-old has been recognised for her hard work after she was voted as Ipswich’s Local Hero in a competition run by Coca-Cola.

And to help her celebrate, the Christmas lorry parked up outside her front door, complete with a group of singers belting out a series of Christmas classics.

Her neighbours braved the cold to enjoy the festive treat with her.

“This has blown me away, it really has,” said Mags, of Felixstowe Road.

“I hope this has brought everyone together.”

Mags is a qualified hairdresser but is not currently working in a shop. She spends two days a week cutting hair at the hospital.

She decided to start volunteering after discussing the matter with Alison Syers, volunteer services co-ordinator at the hospital, and it is a decision she has not regretted.

She said: “They [the patients] always say ‘you are my wee little angel’.

“I like the people part of it – it’s about caring for each other.”

Alison Syers added: “We have had several letters from patients saying what a difference it has made.

“I think this is fantastic, really brilliant, and she is so deserving. She’s so bubbly and she makes a big difference.”

Mags was nominated for the Local Hero award and was selected as the winner by an independent panel of judges.

In addition to the Coca-Cola van, Mags was also presented with a trophy and a hamper full of goodies for her to enjoy this Christmas.

■ Have you been helped by Ms Pinkerton? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or alternatively you can send an e-mail to starnews@archant.co.uk

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