A WOMAN'S gallant efforts to learn to read and write later in life have been recognised by a national charity.

Diane Lawton, a resident at Sherdley Court residential care home on Rainhill Road, took it upon herself to improve her literacy using flash cards and iPad apps.

The 50-year-old, who lives with a mental health condition, said that she was determined to improve her skills so that she could read magazines and understand what was happening in TV adverts.

As well as teaching herself to read and write, Diane is now inspiring others at Sherdley Court to develop new skills and has shown several residents how to use the tablet.

Diane was nominated for the award by Hayley Rowson de Vares, registered manager of the care home, which is operated by adult health and social care charity Making Space.

She was presented with the accolade at a ceremony at Gorton Monastery in Manchester.

Hayley said: "Diane is making excellent progress in her quest to read and write.

"She is now able to understand correspondence which is sent to her and to write greetings cards to friends and family.

"She says she feels much more confident that she was previously and friends and professionals have commented on how much more assertive she is able to be in making choices and informed decisions for herself.

"We are all extremely proud of her and in awe of how determined she has been to improve her literacy. She very much deserves this award."

Diane said: "Although I enjoyed school, there wasn’t any extra help with reading and writing and so I left without being able to do either. Nobody thought about things like dyslexia when I was at school.

"I’ve never had a really good job and I couldn’t help my children read and write when they were at school.

"Improving my literacy is making me feel more confident. I used to feel left out because everyone else seemed to know what was going on but now I can join in conversations about what’s in the paper."

Diane, who had never used a tablet or a computer before moving into Sherdley Court, vows to work on her number skills next.

She said: "It’s never too late to learn. Find someone to help you and use games on tablets and computers".