Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 19:42 UK

Top prize for 'daredevil postie'

TV presenter Christine Bleakley with Pauline Eastment
Pauline Eastment was presented with her award by presenter Christine Bleakley

A postwoman who has raised £23,000 for charity in the 10 years since she was treated for breast cancer has been honoured.

Pauline Eastment, 52, from St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, was chosen as Royal Mail's UK Fundraiser of the Year.

The mother-of-one has run the London marathon, taken part in a tandem sky dive, and walked part of China's Great Wall among her challenges.

"Daredevil postie, that's me," she said after receiving her award in London.

Mrs Eastment was presented with her National Fundraising Award - £1,000, a glass trophy and £1,000 for her chosen charity - by TV presenter Christine Bleakley at a ceremony in London.

Afterwards she admitted she was "blown away" to be recognised for her efforts.

I'm having fun doing it and local people are taking an interest in what I'm doing as well so its lovely
Pauline Eastment

She said the motivation for her annual fundraising challenge was having breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with 10 years ago in May.

"It was a matter of trying to put something back really," she said.

She began a year after being given the all clear from the disease, raising £1,400 from a women's bra-less Moon Walk in London.

Since then, every year she has taken up a fresh challenge, including a tandem skydive, a trek to Everest Base Camp and a walk along the Great Wall of China.

This year she is off to conquer the Grand Canyon in the US.

'Quite something'

"The Moonwalk was the first one. I just saw it advertised and I thought 'I can do this' and as you say it has just gone from there," she said.

"I'm having fun doing it and local people are taking an interest in what I'm doing as well so its lovely

"It's nice to be recognised not that I do it for that reason but to get the national award now is really quite something."

Mrs Eastment added: "Considering the way I raised my money I think its quite an achievement really because I don't get it from companies or anything.

"I get it from individuals and most of those are customers on my round and they all take an interest in what I'm doing."

She was one of three national winners of the First Class awards but regional winners were also honoured at the ceremony.

They included Welsh Hero postman Gwyn Owen, from Llangefni, on Anglesey who rescued a pensioner from a house fire, and Gareth Roberts, Welsh Community Postman of the Year, a basketball coach and football referee who runs a youth club in Shotton, Deeside.



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