A TEACHING assistant who has nurtured hundreds of young artists has won a prestigious award.

Ann Murphy, an art specialist at St Michael’s Catholic Primary School in Widnes, was named Inspirational School Support Staff of the Year at the Liverpool Archdiocese Awards.

She was chosen from a large number of applicants working in schools across the region.

Mrs Murphy, who has worked at the Ditton School for 20 years, inspires children of all ages to develop a love of art.

Pupils who nominated her for the award praised her patience, belief in every child and kind and caring nature.

Year five pupil Anna McDermott said: “Mrs Murphy is one of the kindest people I have met. She is a second Mother Teresa.

“Whenever somebody is being naughty she is so kind and caring that she would just calm them down gently.

“She is a brilliant artist and has inspired many people with her beautiful artwork.

“If anyone is scared or hesitant she will encourage that person to do the very best they can.”

Another pupil said: “Mrs Murphy is kind, gentle and always wants the best for us.

“She is also an amazing artist and makes the school look very beautiful by painting some brilliant art work on the walls.

“She is one of the friendliest teachers ever and loves to see children happy and achieving.”

Head teacher Paul Loughran accompanied Mrs Murphy to the awards ceremony at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool earlier this month.