PEOPLE who devote their time and effort to helping their community were honoured on Friday when the Slough Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) gave out its annual awards at the Heathrow /Windsor Marriott Hotel.

Over 200 guests including the Mayor of Slough, Paul Sohal and its MP Tan Dhesi enjoyed an evening compered by Lisa Cunningham and Ramesh Kukar of Slough CVS,

Mr Kukar, chief executive officer for Slough CVS, said: “Slough volunteers are an important part of the Slough economy and their volunteer time contributes over £28m per year. The Slough Voluntary Sector Awards is a celebration of the amazing contribution that ordinary residents of Slough make to their families, their neighbours and communities at large.”

Young Volunteer of the Year was 13-year-old Louise Ellis who helps disadvantaged and disabled children at The Beehive during the Lighthouse holiday camps. She works with Roma children weekly at the Chalvey youth café; volunteers as a young carers rep with Slough Youth Parliament and fundraises for her local girl guide unit.

Louise is also a young carer for her sister who has autism. As part of her Slough Youth Parliament activities Louise also canvasses young people’s views in the High Street and presents assemblies at school.

Volunteer of the Year was Alan Meredith - manager/coach of the Slough Town PALS football team, a group of disabled adults who love to play football. The team trains twice a month and plays in competition once a month.

This year there were two winners in the Group of the Year category, Home-Start Slough and Meet & Mingle.

Home-Start Slough is a family support service which benefits marginalised families fighting poverty, abuse or disability. While Meet & Mingle is a voluntary group that helps and support women, including those suffering from depression, those who are lonely, widowed, have disabilities or those who are carers.

There were also awards for businesses and non-profit organisations that make a difference in their communities.

The recently opened business centre the Porter Building in Brunel Way won the Business Support of the Year award, for opening its doors to community activities.