A ROMSEY-based charity hosted their annual awards night to shine a light on volunteers.

Groups across the Test Valley joined Unity at the Annual Volunteering Awards to celebrate the achievements of those people who give their time freely to support their local communities.

This year there were more awards than ever before with four individual and one team Award.

The Test Valley Mayor, Cllr Martin Hatley presented the awards and agreed to sponsor the Unsung Hero Award, which was one by Ann Dean of Andover Stroke Club for organising, developing and running the community group for more than 10 years on a voluntary basis.

A Veteran of the Year Award, one of the new editions to the programme, was won by Paul Martin.

After being made redundant from his job and while looking for employment, Paul made a conscious decision to put something back into his community.

For the first time, a Trustee of the Year Award was available to highlight all those trustees who behind the scenes work hard ensure that their organisations are flourishing.

This was won by Ann Woods, who has been a trustee for 30 years.

The Team of the Year Award was won by Andover Men’s Shed Association.

This group is just five years old but already have 40 members.

The winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award was chosen from the other three individual winners and was won by Paul Martin, who was totally overwhelmed with the accolade.

Finally, a special award was presented to the volunteers of the Unity Stockbridge Community Bus whose volunteers are celebrating 30 years of running this valuable bus services.

Terry Bishop, Unity Chief Executive said: “This is our opportunity to recognise those volunteers who are committed to improving people lives in their local community.

"Without their efforts many of the support services would not exist particularly at a time when statutory services are so stretched.

"We must also thank the Test Valley Mayor and Ansvar Insurance for sponsoring Awards this year.

"Without their contributions we would be unable to celebrate these outstanding achievements.”