A NURSE from Weymouth who runs a cancer support group in her spare time has won a prestigious national volunteering award.

Hilary Maxwell, who works as a cancer nurse specialist, been named the UK Volunteer of the Year in the national Charity Today awards.

The award is for her volunteer work as chairman of the GO Girls, working passionately to raise awareness of gynaecological cancers and by running an online support group.

GO Girls formed in 2015 to support all women suffering with gynaecological cancers, including the 'silent killer' of ovarian cancer. Since its creation, the charity has grown significantly and now supports 783 members across the UK.

On hearing of her award win Hilary said: “People shy away from talking about gynaecological health and often ignore symptoms or put off going for screenings, so raising awareness and providing support is incredibly important.

"I am very honoured to have won this award in recognition of the work that not only I, but also our brilliant and small team of volunteers have undertaken with limited resources.

"This has provided us with a real boost and as it is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month the timing is perfect.”

Siobhan Griffiths, Head of Communications at GO Girls, said: “We are very proud of Hilary and the amazing results she has achieved with limited resources.

"She dedicates hours of her personal time on top of a demanding day job and we are delighted she has been recognised with this award. She has worked tirelessly, having led our small team of incredible and dedicated volunteers to raise £50,000 for Dorset County Hospital’s Cancer Appeal.”

GO Girls' goal is to ensure all women with gynaecological cancers receive support during what is often a lonely and difficult journey with survival rates still very low, particularly for those with ovarian cancers.

The charity has hosted many fundraising events in recent years, and donated £50,000 to fund a consulting room at Dorset County Hospital.

Go Girls has now launched its next £50,000 target to support the funding of five awareness campaigns for all five gynaecological cancers.

In addition to raising awareness, GO Girls offers an online support group, information, and fundraises for more support services.

The Charity Today Awards celebrate and reward true excellence within the sector and the work undertaken by charities and individuals who continue to raise the bar by setting new standards each year.