KIND-HEARTED Sue Chandler has spent 10 years helping children with special needs and their families.
The 58-year-old was treasurer for the North Staffordshire Asperger and Autism Association before setting up the Special Educational Needs Support Group (SENSG) in 2006.
The mother-of-three of Mary Rose Close, Bucknall, gives up hours of her time each week to the group, which helps around 70 people across the area.
She gives benefit advice, organises day trips, holds fund-raising events and supports families with the benefit of her experience in whatever way she can.
Now Kevin Healey, chair of the Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society (SAAS), has said she deserves civic recognition for her long-term contribution to the area
He has nominated her to attend a dinner celebrating 100 years of the federation of Stoke-on-Trent next month where the city’s Citizen of the Century will be announced.
The 35-year-old of Newcastle said: “Sue is an inspirational woman, a lady who has sometimes not found life to be quite so easy, but who shows the strength and determination to help others.
“Sue has spent the last 10 years helping others, making their world a better place to live in. Her enthusiasm and dedication is second to none. I have not met many people like her.
“She is a very determined person and her heart is in the right place. She has made a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children and also their parents who are at the end of their tether.
“She has made a great difference to the community and especially to the people of Stoke-on-Trent.”
A panel of judges have already selected 10 individuals who they felt had made significant impact on Stoke-on-Trent. The list includes politicians, sportsmen, a pottery industry pioneer, a pop superstar and inventors.
However, they are still appealing to the public to comment on the shortlist and suggest other names.
Shortlisted residents will be invited to attend a celebration dinner at King’s Hall, Stoke, on March 31 when the overall winner will be announced.
The dinner will include 50 people nominated by Sentinel readers and their guests, making up The Sentinel 100.
Mrs Chandler said she decided to establish SENSG, which meets every week at the Hope Children’s Centre, in Garth Street, Hanley, after being motivated by people she met as a volunteer for the city council’s Parent Partnership.
In this role she helped to support families with special needs children by liaising with their schools and also attending tribunals.
She said it made her realise how little support there was to parents of children with special needs.
Mrs Chandler, who is mum to Steven, aged 36, Sharon, aged 33, and Andrew, aged 18, said: “I am over the moon to be nominated. I did not expect anything like this. I just like to help people and make sure they get who they are entitled to.
“I also love Stoke-on-Trent so would be very proud to attend this dinner.”
Readers can still suggest nominees.
To nominate someone for The Sentinel 100, write, outlining your nomination to: The Sentinel 100, Sentinel House, Forge Lane, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5SS