A GRANDMOTHER has been highly commended for helping victims of drug abuse after struggling to cope with her three sons' heroin addiction.

June Marshall, 67, is chairman of Barnsley Beacon, the support service which she established 13 years ago.

She's been highly commended in the High Sheriff Awards' unsung hero category this month.

June, who lives in Royston, set up Barnsley Beacon after she and husband John found themselves struggling and isolated as they tried to cope with their sons' addiction because there was no support available in the town.

"It was devastating for us. Our family life was torn apart," she said.

"When we were going through it in the early days, there was no help available at that time, and I was looking for answers like why my son? Why is it happening? When is it going to stop? I started to wonder if it was ever going to end."

The former dinner lady was so desperate for help she returned to college, 39 years after leaving school, to learn new skills on how to set up and run a charitable organisation.

Over the years, June and her dedicated team of volunteers have fought tirelessly to help hundreds of people understand addiction, and learn the skills needed to deal with a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

"It was such an honour to be nominated and shortlisted but to be highly commended, well that was a great feeling," added June.