A pharmacy worker of 40 years has been praised by staff and the community for her 'sheer determination' to help others. 

Linda Lawrence, 63, has worked at the newly-named Manichem Pharmacy in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, under various ownerships since 1974. 

The mother-of-three moved out of the borough 18 years ago to live in Collier Row, Romford, and spend time with her three grandchildren, but travels down for work by bus and train every week. 

She started working at the pharmacy as a healthcare assistant when it was called Harvans, a name it held until seven years ago when it became a Lloyds Pharmacy - and now most recently a Manichem chemist. 

Besides her everyday roles, such as filing and working on the shop floor, Mrs Lawrence is said to go out of her way to make her customers' lives easier, and once walked from Stratford to Walthamstow in the snow just to make it to work.  

Dispenser Shameem Nazir has worked with Mrs Lawrence for 16 years. 

She said: "She always goes beyond what is expected by doing their food shopping when she is supposed to be giving medication. 

"If we don't stock the medication here, she will try and get it from somewhere else, even Romford Market.

"Everything she does is out of the goodness of her heart. Her sheer determination and hard work is noticed by everyone and she always works to the best of her ability."    

Throughout her 40-year career, she has assisted two twin sisters in Belmont Park Road, Walthamstow. 

Joan and May Barnes, both 91, have lived in the same road for 85 years and do not have any children or existing family members. 

Ms Barnes said: "Linda is very good and very helpful. I can ask and she will always be there. She fetches us a loaf of bread, does any shopping we ask for and brings us our prescriptions, no one else would do that. 

"If I want a bag of potatoes, she'll get them. She's marvellous," said Joan who looks after her sister since becaming housebound."

Mrs Lawrence reduced her working hours to two days a week in 2012 and has recently celebrated 40 years at the chemist. 

She said: "I get a pleasure out of helping people. Whatever they want, I get them so much so I sometimes forget to have a lunch break. 

"Some people are very lonely and have no family so they need extra help and that's why I will go out of my way."

Mrs Lawrence said described tightened regulations around health and safety in the workplace as a "real shame".  

"Nowadays, there is too much health and safety regulations, you can't even put a plaster on someone without being told off," she added.