Edna Smith has been volunteering for Home-Start Blaby District, Oadby and Wigston for 15 years. She helps countless families and has made a difference to hundreds of parents and children.

When the National Lottery heard about Edna they wanted to tell her story, and show her how much she meant to people.

The National Lottery made a special film filled with interviews with just some of the families Edna has worked with over the past 15 years. They then arranged for a special surprise screening of the film for Edna just in time for Mother’s Day.

Edna went to the Odeon in Leicester thinking she would be watching a film. When the lights went down, the National Lottery played a film all about Edna, with friends and Home-Start families praising her.

Edna was moved to tears by her surprise as her friends, family and those she has helped crammed into a cinema to say a heartfelt thank you.

You can see Edna’s reaction in this amazing film from the day.

Home-Start Blaby District,Oadby and Wigston is just one of the many local Home-Starts across the UK that have received a total of £8.5 million of National Lottery funding since 2005 through 95 grants from the BIG Lottery Fund, one of the distributors of National Lottery funding.

With her boundless energy, Edna has been a tower of strength to families struggling to cope in Leicestershire. She has been a surrogate mother to dozens of children – visiting their homes to lend a hand and being a friend to them and their parents - as well as helping out at two local Home-Start groups.

Edna couldn’t believe what was happening. “I was astonished to see that I was the star of the show,” she said. “It was a wonderful surprise. I have enjoyed helping families through my work with Home-Start and never expected that people would go to such lengths to show such appreciation.”

Edna’s daughter, Julie Brooks, says Edna is one in a million, “Edna is special because she gives so much unconditional love and support. Mum has always been there for her family and the children she has supported through Home-Start, offering love and guidance. She never criticises or judges people, giving advice when asked, but never interfering. I am proud that her influence on so many people’s lives has been recognised.”

Edna is one of over 15,000 men and women who volunteer as home-visitors for Home-Start across the country and who do an incredible job for families.

If Edna has inspired you to become a volunteer click here to find out more.

It costs Home-Start £32 million every year to provide our unique support to 32,000 families and their 63,000 children. If you’d like to make a donation to support our work click here.