Hilary Pugsley was a sour and formidable social worker who called to see Eddie and Anna Windass in May 2010 to discuss their application to become adoptive parents. Expecting someone warm and approachable, the Windasses were taken aback by the frosty exterior exhibited by Ms Pugsley, who asked to be seated on a hard dining chair due to recent medical "exploratory" treatment and then reluctantly turned up the chance to sample one of Eddie's home-made cakes - a triple chocolate cheesecake - stating that she was diabetic. She was won over by his charms though when he offered to bake a special diabetic cake for her and she approved the first stage of the adoption process.
Hilary reappeared in January 2011 when the adoption agency found a child for Anna and Eddie. Hilary introduced them to Faye Butler, a sullen and temperamental 8-year-old girl. Hilary escorted Faye on several visits to the Windasses house. After Faye had moved in permanently in April 2011, Hilary told Anna and Eddie that Faye's birth mother Jenny had died of a heroin overdose. She urged them to inform Faye.