OUTSTANDING individuals who give their time as volunteers in the New Forest were recognised at a recent reception.

Twelve people received awards at the Chairman's annual Volunteers' Awards reception, held to thank individuals and groups who give dedicated service to the people and places of the New Forest.

Cllr Christine Ward, New Forest District Council chairman, said: “I am so thankful for what all the volunteers do for our district and am pleased to be able to recognise them in this small way.

"I want to highlight in particular Gerald Hollyoake and Susan Burley, who have raised over £42,000 for local charities from their 13-year involvement in the Byron Road New Milton Christmas lights. An amazing achievement.”

Nominations were invited from district councillors and were considered on the basis of length of volunteer service, funds raised for good causes, numbers of people supported, challenges overcome, and level of commitment demonstrated.

There were nine awards overall, three of which were shared.

The winners were:

Amanda Broomfield, who leads the ‘Hythe Alive’ traders, an initiative which raise funds, prepares and organises the Christmas Lights for Hythe Town Centre.

Eunice Harris and Yvonne Mooney, who are committee members of the Butts Ash Community Association.

Louis Bonney, who sources unwanted adult bikes to strip and prepare them so that people from all walks of life can have fun learning how to repair, maintain and ride bikes.

John and Elaine Chester, who have run the Brockenhurst & Sway Day Centre, which provides essential services for frail and elderly residents since June 2006.

Frederick Norris, who works tirelessly for Beaulieu Village, including holding a number of key roles such as chairman of the parish council, parochial parish council member, church warden and a trustee of Beaulieu Common Good Trust.

John Barns, who is a volunteer involved in numerous community activities, including Butts Ash Community Association, Citizens Advice Bureau (Hythe) and Compass Counselling (Lymington).

David Avery, who is the committee secretary for Bashley Village Hall, tirelessly volunteering to support the village hall and wider Bashley community.

Gerald Hollyoake and Susan Burley, who have been instrumental to the organisation, funding and installation of the Byron Road Christmas Light spectacular, which has raised over £42,000 for charities since it started 13 years ago.

Joan Hickling. who has run Blackfield Ladies Circle for over 15 years. Now with 26 members, the Circle meet every month with guest speakers, quizzes and garden parties being organised.