Tesco Mum of the Year Mireille Williams, from Yate, mixes with Michelle Heaton and Gareth Gates and interviews PM David Cameron at awards bash
A MOTHER-of-three from Yate has spoken of her ‘once in a lifetime’ weekend after winning Tesco's Mum of the Year award.
Mireille Williams, 36, spent two nights in The Savoy Hotel in London, enjoyed a lavish makeover and attended a star-studded awards ceremony which will be screened on Channel 5 this Mothering Sunday.
"It has been fantastic," she told the Gazette. "I never thought I would enjoy it so much.
"When I was first told about the award I didn’t feel at all worthy and was uncomfortable with the idea but it was something I will never do again.
"The reason I enjoyed it so much is because I was made to feel so special. I just feel overwhelmed by it all."
Mireille, who lives with her husband Alan, 44, and their children Alexander, 6, Lucas, 3, and five-month-old Ceri, was given the VIP treatment as a reward for her efforts saving Ridgewood Pre-school, based at Ridgewood Community Centre in Yate, from financial ruin.
When her eldest son started at the pre-school in 2011, Mireille joined the committee as secretary but it was when she took over as treasurer that she realised the group was on the brink of collapse.
"They were in financial dire straits," she said. "When I took over as treasurer this time last year it became very apparent that financially they were not going to survive."
Despite having no accountancy training and suffering from chronic illness Lupus, she began applying for grants, fundraising and relaunching the pre-school as an all-day facility. With refurbished facilities, the pre-school survived and is now flourishing.
Mireille’s story touched the hearts of Tesco Mum of the Year judges and she was awarded the community award, which was handed to her on Sunday by celebrities Michelle Heaton and Gareth Gates.
"I got to take two of my colleagues from the pre-school, Rachel Earl and Gemma Shelley, and my school friends Claire Ransom and Emily Griffiths, and it was wonderful," she said.
"We saw Il Divo and The Overtones perform, I was interviewed by Fiona Phillips on stage and backstage for Channel 5. We were all given goodie bags and I was given a spa break for two and £5,000 for the pre-school from Tesco."
On Monday morning, Mireille and the other five winners were taken to Downing Street to speak with Prime Minister David Cameron.
After her whirlind weekend, Mireille was straight back to work on her next project - raising enough money for a new playground at the pre-school.