A co-founder of the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council, Maurizia Quarta, has been presented with a High Sheriff’s Award in recognition of her work.

Miss Quarta, 47, of Wilcott Road, Pewsey, was presented with the award from the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Lady Phillips, at a ceremony in Salisbury Cathedral on Sunday.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all but it’s nice to be formally recognised.

“I accepted the award on behalf of everybody involved with the WPCC.

“I’d like to thank my mum, Rita Quarta, and close friends Richard and Lesley Yates for all the support they give me.”

The WPCC, which is based in Pewsey, was set up in 2009 by Miss Quarta and Catherine Dawson off the back of a government scheme called Aiming High for Disabled Children.

Miss Quarta, whose 14-year-old son James has Down’s Syndrome, said: “The programme was the result of a national review of services that highlighted how they were not meeting the needs of disabled children and their families.

“My own son has a disability so I had first hand experience, which was a requirement of the programme.”

The WPCC has more than 400 members and a team of parent representatives who meet regularly with key professionals responsible for providing services.

Each year the charity receives £35,000 funding from Wiltshire Council and and an additional £10,000 funding from the Department of Education.]

To find out more about the WPCC, visit www.wiltshire parentcarercouncil.co.uk