30 October 2018 - Community heroes who go above and beyond to improve the borough were recognised at the Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards 2018.

Inspirational volunteers scooped prizes across eight categories during a packed ceremony at Woodlands School. The winners were presented with a trophy, certificate of appreciation and prize voucher. Highly commended nominees were also named in six of the categories.

The ceremony, sponsored by Pinnacle PSG, is held every year to recognise the tireless efforts of residents who give up their time to help a worthy cause.

The winners of each category are put forward for the Tony Guyon Memorial Cup to be crowned overall Volunteer of the Year. Tony was a member of Basildon Council's Community Engagement Team who sadly passed away doing the job he loved. He dedicated a lot of his life to helping make Basildon a better borough.

This year the cup went to Mary Pearne. Despite her own ill health, she has run the Wednesday Club at St Paul's Methodist Church Hall, Lee Chapel, for 38 years to support people with disabilities.

Barbara Chapman and Norman Allen, who have a combined 54 years' experience volunteering for St Luke's Hospice, were named joint winners of the Lifetime Achievement category.

Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Dadds, said: "It was an honour to meet so many volunteers who give up their time, effort and resource to help others in the borough.

"All volunteers are community heroes and the Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards are a fantastic way of shining a light on them and celebrating their wonderful efforts. The fact that our borough has so many people dedicated to improving the lives of others is something to be very proud of. A lot of community activities would not happen without volunteers.

"This year's Volunteer of the Year has dedicated her life to helping hundreds of disabled people develop the life skills, confidence and friendships needed to live independently in the community. Mary Pearne is clearly dedicated, well respected and truly inspirational.

"Thanks to all of our sponsors for their continued support and to Gateway 97.8 for its live coverage of the ceremony."

For more information about the Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards 2018 and to view a full list of the winners, visit Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards Ceremony 2018

Volunteer Awards 2018 - Lifetime Achievement     Volunteer Awards 2018 - Mary Pearne     Volunteer Awards 2018 - Winners and Highly Commended