VOLUNTEERS, local employers and the chair of a community trust in Christchurch have been commended for their work at a special awards ceremony.

The Meritorious awards were presented at the town’s full council meeting to the group behind the popular Stompin’ on the Quomps festival, now in its 20th year, and to Dawn Brookes, chairman of the Mudeford Wood Community Trust.

A group award was also given to Penny & Giles Controls Ltd, which was founded in 1956 and is now one of the borough’s major employers.

Stompin’ on the Quomps has become one of the largest jazz festivals of its kind in the south, with more than 4,000 visitors and residents enjoying the music.

A team of volunteers currently gives more than 1,000 man hours to organise the event, including preparation and fundraising, setting-up the festival and clearing up afterwards.

Dawn Brookes became chairman of the Mudeford Wood Playgroup eight years ago to support the efforts of the team in teaching her grandchildren.

Five years ago she was instrumental in forming the friends of Mudeford Wood Community Centre, which has now transitioned into the charity Mudeford Wood Community Trust, which Dawn also chairs.

She received the award for her “commitment and passion” and for “working to retain what is worthwhile for the present and building for the future”.

Bill Penny and Jim Giles, of Penny & Giles Controls Ltd, set up the company after identifying a demand for high precision instrumentation in the aviation industry.

The award was presented to recognise “all those who have worked at the company, past and present, and who have made an invaluable contribution to the success of firm”.