A SENIOR engineer at Caerphilly County Borough Council has been shortlisted for a British Heart Foundation award.

Michelle Johnson has been shortlisted for a British Heart Foundation Cymru “Heart Hero Award” for her drive and commitment in helping to improve the lives of heart patients and their families.

The annual “Heart Hero Awards” recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution that British Heart Foundation volunteers and supporters make to the fight against heart disease.

One of three shortlisted in the Heart Health Professional category, Ms Johnson has been invited to attend a BHF Cymru Supporter Day and Heart Heroes Award Ceremony in September where nominees will be congratulated and winners will be announced.

After being involved in a car accident in 2013 and needing intensive physiotherapy to help get back on her feet, Ms Johnson wanted to give something back to the National Health Service and with a background in sport, she contacted the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service at the University Hospital of Wales to volunteer in the Cardiac Rehabilitation programme.

Despite her full time job and young family, she has volunteered to help the Cardiac Rehab team run their exercise sessions for the past two years – and has barely missed a session.

She also funded herself through the BACPR Exercise Instructor course, and has since established two maintenance exercise classes which she runs twice a week, as well as continuing to support the Cardiac Rehab programme. Michelle uses British Heart Foundation leaflets and Heart Matters magazine to promote the British Heart Foundation to patients in her classes.

Ms Johnson said: “The rewards of volunteering and working with the local community are immense to me. I have gained new qualification and met new friends for life.

“The Cardiac Rehab team do an awesome job (Specialist Cardiac Nurses, Physiotherapists, Dieticians and Occupational Therapists) and I feel honoured to be part of this great team.”