A DEDICATED Royal Navy steward who delivered vital aid to the victims of the Philippines tycoon and missed spending Christmas and her birthday at home in Widnes has been rewarded with £1,000 cash.

Jessica Ierston, aged 20, has won a national competition to give a deserving family a second chance of celebrating the festivities with their family.

Her mum, Patricia, aged 38, of Langley Beck, Widnes, who nominated her, said: “She absolutely loves the Navy. She has had great experiences. On her last deployment, she visited Spain, Dubai, Singapore and Goa.

“She is dead soft and would give anyone anything. She is a very helpful person. That’s why she joined the Navy.

“She was due home after being overseas for four and a half months but before she made it back to the UK, she was drafted out to the Philippines to help in the aftermath of the storm.”

Jessica and her family were treated to a party at The Griffin Inn in Warrington Road, part of the Fayre & Square pub and restaurant chain, which ran the nationwide competition.

Her dad, Chris, aged 41, her brother Tony, aged 14, and sister, Adele, aged 12, were delighted to celebrate with her.

Lesley Dean, general manager of The Griffin Inn, said: “We were amazed by the number of entries we received but Jessica’s story really stood out. She is a very worthy winner.”

Jessica joined the Navy when she was 17 and is based in Portsmouth. She has travelled all over the world and has served on HMS Illustrious. She has worked as a steward, fire safety officer and first aider.

Patricia added: “I’m dead proud of Jessica.

“She is a lovely girl.

“I think everyone in the Army, Navy and RAF are doing a fantastic job fighting for our country.”