A BUS driver who helped a lost little girl to get home has been rewarded for being an “unsung hero”.

Jacqueline Hastings was presented with an award at the Arriva Making a Difference Awards for helping the girl find her way home after she got on the wrong bus.

The girl, thought to be aged between eight and 12, was on the No 1 bus. She had ended up at Rayleigh train station when she should have got off at Thames Drive in Leigh.

Jacqueline, from Southend, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Unsung Hero Award because I helped a little girl get home after she got on the wrong bus.

“She had no extra money and the battery in her mobile phone had died, so I put her in a taxi and paid for her to get home safely.

“As a mum, I knew the panic the girl’s parents must have been going through when she didn’t come home when expected, so I wanted to help out as best I could.”

Linsey Frostick, regional marketing manager for bus company Arriva, praised Jacqueline for her kind and generous nature.

She said: “Jacqueline has received numerous commendations from customers who are delighted with her cheery and welcoming nature and who have said that she brightens up their day.

“Winning the award clearly demonstrates she has gone above and beyond the call of duty and is a true professional and an inspiring ambassador for the company.”

Jacqueline competed against four other shortlisted candidates to receive the Unsung Hero Award.