ELEVEN volunteers from across Purbeck have been honoured at a special reception for the ‘exceptional work’ they do in the community.

Purbeck District Council hosted the Volunteers of the Year scheme awards, which took place after parishes and towns across the district nominated volunteers.

More than 50 people attended the ceremony, where Purbeck District Council chairman Cllr Bill Trite presented each volunteer with a scroll marking their achievement.

Representatives from the Purbeck towns and parishes which nominated volunteers told Cllr Trite and guests about the dedication, energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers.

Among those being recognised was former Swanage and Wareham Advertiser columnist George Willey. Cllr Trite said: “I am extremely impressed by what I have heard tonight – it is very humbling and brings home the extent of the commitment given by these special people.

“Volunteers are essential to the quality of life in our towns and villages and make a positive difference to all of us.

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to have been involved in the Volunteers of the Year scheme and to thank personally all those who give so freely their time and efforts.”

Those receiving a scroll were Philippa Thorniley, from Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle; Tony Shave, from Bere Regis; Gillian Topp, from East Stoke; Nita Parke, from Lytchett Matravers; Niall Gordon, from Lytchett Minster and Upton; Maxine Clews, from Morden; George Willey, Swanage, Myrna Gomes Maria, from Wareham; Rosemarie Masson, from Wareham St Martin; Derek Brown, from Wool; John Bugler, from Worth Matravers.

Cllr Trite concluded: “With continued reductions in funding for local authorities, we are going to need more people like these in the future.”