A COMMUNITY stalwart has been shortlisted for a prestigious regional award.

Suzie Pugh, of Suzie’s Gift and Tea Room in Maldon High Street, has been nominated for this year’s Pride of Essex Awards.

The award celebrate local heroes who have contributed their time and effort to help their community.

Suzie received her nomination last weekend and she said her legs went to jelly when she saw the letter.

“I felt so happy and emotional,” she said.

“I found out that a customer nominated me, and I am so humbled and thankful for the recognition.

“I feel so lucky to be able to create communities of support and friendship with our groups and clubs.

“The tea shop has provided the opportunities to bring people together like we used to years ago.

“It shows how much people still want to feel connected with one another.”

The award ceremony takes place on November 19.