A MILITARY wife who plans to help wounded soldiers has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize.

Sign language student Leanne Hipkiss-Walker, from Darlington, has been nominated to receive an award in the national 2013 Signature Annual Awards.

The awards, to be held in November, seek to recognise those who strive to break down barriers between deaf and hearing people.

Mrs Hipkiss-Walker studied sign language at Darlington College and was nominated as Learner of the Year by her tutor, Noreen Chaplin.

She hopes to use her skills to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of soldiers who have damaged their hearing in action.

She said: “I didn’t know I was being nominated and was completely blown away and overwhelmed.

“I am over the moon and it has made my year. She added: “My husband is a soldier and helping other soldiers is something that is close to my heart, it will be marvellous to do give something back to them.”

Signature’s chief executive Jim Edwards said: “Leanne’s goal to provide recovery services for those who have been injured in action is an admirable one.

“She is an exemplary individual, a great student of BSL and a worthy nominee.”

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Friday November 15.