A councillor who fought to turn around the fortunes of an ailing estate had her efforts recognised when she was named a finalist for an award celebrating brave women.
Conservative Belinda Donovan battled for improvements to the Peabody Trust estate, off Shepherd's Bush Road, after tenants complained the flats were rat-infested, run down and a magnet for drug addicts and dealers.
Since first being elected to Addison ward four years ago, she has been tireless in demanding improvements from the trust, prompting two residents to nominate her for this year's Lesley Pearse Women of Courage Award.
Cllr Donovan was among a handful of finalists picked out by the popular author, winning £100 worth of Penguin Books – which she immediately pledged to donate to Addison Library.
The 52-year-old was commended for her 'unstinting dedication' to the estate after being approached by a disabled woman and her daughter who said the estate had become 'uninhabitable and incredibly dangerous'.
Following a long campaign, Cllr Donovan succeeded in getting drug dens closed down, refuse bins fixed to discourage rats, a separate play area restored for children and gates and security installed.
Lesley Pearse said: "Because of Belinda's indomitable courage the tenants in that block of flats have found peace and safety again."
Cllr Donovan said she was 'bowled over' to be made one of five finalists who were whittled down from hundreds of nominees.
"The estate was pretty bad," she said. "There were outstanding issues which hadn't been resolved for a very long time. For the Peabody Trust it was very much a forgotten and neglected building. Now it is much better, but it has taken a long time.
"I'm just totally surprised and so grateful to the residents who nominated me. I was only doing my job and didn't expect anything like this."
The mother of three says she now has plenty more challenges to turn her attention to around Addison Ward, which she was first elected to represent in 2006, and which she knows well having raised two children within its boundaries.
"I was born nearby in Ladbroke Grove in 1957 and my two older children were brought up here, so my heart is very much in the ward," she said.
"There are always issues that we have to keep up with and challenges to address."