A HIGH street store has won an award for the help it offers to blind and visually impaired shoppers.

The Debenhams store in Stockton has received the Ann Kallagher Award for Excellent Service to Blind and Visually Impaired Shoppers.

The award was presented by Stockton Blind People's Voice, a group set up in 1997 with the aim of improving access for blind people in the town.

Ms Kallagher, a founder member of the group, died in 2000.

Secretary Geoff Garnett said: "We were sorry to lose Ann and her invaluable support for the group. It seemed the natural choice to name the award after her in view of her love of shopping."

Debenhams were nominated for this year's award by Linda Oliver, who praised staff for spending time with her and advising her what to wear.

Neil Carter, store manager, said: "We are delighted that what we regard as part of our everyday job to assist our customers has been rewarded in this way.

"We hope we can encourage many more blind and visually impaired people to visit us, and all they have to do is ask for any help they may require and we will be glad to help in any way we can."