IT IS never too late to help your community - just ask 85-year-old Ray Allen.

Mr Allen was named Volunteer of the Year at last week's award ceremony organised by the organisation WAM Get Involved at Maidenhead Town Hall.

He volunteers for Maidenhead Thames Rotary Club and after years as a school governor at Holyport Manor Special School and as school reader at primary schools he still works as a volunteer listening to individual children reading, while helping run events for older children.

He is married to Jean and has lived in Maidenhead 40 years.

He says he was at a loss for words when told he had won the award. He worked for 30 years with Ranks Hovis McDougal as general manager and said: "I was always very active at work and volunteering has been a way of keeping active.When I read with the kids at school on a Friday I forget I’m 85 and as my wife says grumpy - becoming like an nine year old again.

"I have two children and four grandchildren who were delighted that the old fella got the award, as were the kids at school when I proudly showed it to them on Friday."

The award for Young Volunteer of the Year went to Chesna Mitra, 16,who was nominated for her work with SportsAble, the disabled sports club.

Charity of the Year was chosen as Windsor and Maidenhead Family Friends, which last year alone has supported 390 families needing help and encouragement.

The winning Volunteer Team of the Year were the Food Academy Volunteers - who were set up by Thames Valley police to encourage young people to learn to cook and serve food as a way of building confidence and community spirit.

Around 80 guests attended the ceremony. Alison Alexander, the managing director of the Royal Borough, told them: "I'm always so impressed with the army of volunteers and support services who assist them in their valuable work across the borough, year in year out."

Awards were presented by the Royal Borough's mayor Cllr Paul Lion and lead member for culture and communities Cllr Samantha Rayner.