Volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to their communities have been recognised at a celebratory awards ceremony.

The Uttlesford District Council community achievement awards were held on Thursday, January 5, and honoured 27 recipients from across the district who have clocked up hundreds of hours of voluntary work between them.

All recipients were nominated for making a real difference for their community, and they were each presented with a certificate after the stories behind their commitment were read out. 

Council chair Cllr Heather Asker, who presented the awards, said: "These wonderful volunteers are often unsung heroes who go above and beyond for their local communities and play a huge part in what makes Uttlesford such a special place.

"I would like to congratulate all those who received an award and thank them for their dedication and hard work."

The award winners for services to the community were Don Alexander, Hanna Barraclough, Richard Carter, Sophie Durlacher, Leanne Eustice, Terry Frostick, Peter Gibson, Derrick Giffin, Eddie and Carol Hatfield, Henham Dragon Editorial Team, Ann Holloway, Philip Johnson, Ken Kemp, Graham Lowden, Tudor Owen, Isabelle Page, Jacqui Portway, Leslie Shipp, John and Berenice Smith, Richard Thomas and Jean Wilson.

Catherine Dean from Stansted received an award for services to the community and the elderly.

Four awards for services to children and young people went to Dom Moloney of Saffron Walden, Mark Gerber and Mick Byrne from Stansted and Martin Boughtwood from Great Sampford.

Community awards were presented to people across the district, including residents of Saffron Walden, Newport, Manuden, Clavering, Thaxted, Great Chesterford, Henham, Farnham, Widdington, Stansted, Littlebury, Great Sampford and Takeley.

The awards were judged by the Community Achievement Awards Working Group at Uttlesford District Council, which is chaired by the leader of the district council Cllr Petrina Lees.

She said: "We are extremely fortunate to have so many people in Uttlesford who give up their time for others.

"This awards event is really important as it highlights what a vital contribution volunteers make to our lives every day – the value they bring to their communities is inspirational."