The founder of a Winchester charity, which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to perform on stage, recently received a special award.

Jane Jessop, who founded Blue Apple in 2005, was awarded the Badge of the Order of Mercy for distinguished voluntary service by The League of Mercy Foundation.

Recently, Jane's son Tommy has starred as Terry Boyle in Line of Duty and was on stage with other cast members at the National Television Awards to collect the award for returning drama, much to the delight of the viewers.

Jane's award was presented in a ceremony at Mansion House, a Grade I listed building in London, which is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London.

Jane originally founded Blue Apple to help facilitate Tommy in pursuing his love of acting as the nearest theatre company for people with learning disabilities was then in London.

She decided to set up an ambitious and inclusive theatre company for people with learning disabilities in Winchester, where every member was equally valued.

After receiving her award, Jane said: “The event provided a valuable opportunity to speak to very interesting people, hear their stories and share why the vision of Blue Apple is so important to us all and how lives have been changed.”

Today, Blue Apple brings highly acclaimed theatrical performances to the south of England and overseas.