THE pride of South Ribble have been honoured at this year’s Community Awards.

Now in its fourth year, the seven top gongs were hotly contested at the annual ‘Big Do’ with more nominations than ever before.

Lancashire Police and Galloway’s Society for the Blind scooped a brand new award for 2016 – the Partnership Commendation.

They were recognised for their joint approach to helping people living with sight loss, including training for PCSOs and call handlers and offering important safety and community information in an audio format.

It was a double whammy for Galloway’s too as Mike Beeston, who gives up four days out of every week to support the charity, was named Volunteer of the Year.

Young Volunteer of the year went to inspirational Matthew Duncan who uses his own experiences to help in his role as a mentor at the Teenage Autism and ADHD Group.

The pair were joined on stage by fellow winners on the night - the Leyland Town Team, the South Ribble Pensioners Association as well as the community of Western Drive and C&W Berry, who rallied together after the Boxing Day floods.

The Special Achievement Award was shared by St Catherine’s Hospice, South Ribble Borough Council and the Rotary Clubs of Longridge and Preston North and Preston South, and the Rotary Club of Halifax Harbourside Nova Scotia for the roles they played in the opening of the borough’s first new park in 40 years.

St Catherine’s Park joined land owned by the council and the hospice to form the very first part of the Central Parks project and boasts a brand new Inglis bridge, a nature trail, woodland, new gates, signage and accessible pathways.

Linda Chivers, one of the Assistant Chairs of South Ribble Partnership, said: “We are extremely proud and privileged to have hosted these awards for the fourth year in a row.

“There are so many unsung heroes in our voluntary, community and faith sectors and the awards are a way to acknowledge and honour the contribution made by many individuals and groups across South Ribble.

“It was extremely tough to judge the individual categories as the level of entries was just so high. Each and every person nominated would have been a worthy winner on the night and I would like to personally congratulate them all.

“On behalf of the Partnership, I would also like to once again thank our sponsors who have rallied behind us to make this event possible. Their support is very much appreciated by all involved.”