DUDLEY’S big-hearted volunteers were rewarded for their work at a prestigious ceremony in Brierley Hill.

The borough’s twelfth volunteer awards took place on October 16 when around 300 guests paid tribute to people who make a difference to their communities.

The ceremony, hosted by Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, saw presentations in nine categories from civic, business and community leaders.

The Business Supporting the Community award went to Paul Billingsley of Accord Steel Cladding based in Kingswinford and presented by Scott Jones of Brierley Hill Copthorne Hotel.

Shamim Akhtar of Direxions, based in Stourbridge, picked up the Community Action Award from chief superintendent Chris Johnson of West Midlands Police.

The Healthy Communities Award was presented by Paul Maubach of Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group to Springboard Exercise Volunteers, part of Age UK Dudley based in Brierley Hill.

Judges for the Wellbeing Award 2014 decided to share it between Heavens Kitchen Volunteers and Daryll Garland. Paul Maubach made the presentation to the joint winners.

John Cheadle of the Transport Group Volunteers who maintain the vintage vehicles at the Black Country Museum collected the Arts and Heritage Award from the Deputy Leader of Dudley MBC, Cllr Peter Lowe.

Cllr Tim Crumpton presented the Children and Families Award to Gary James. Gary was described as being “passionate about supporting children and young people, and is a pioneering fundraiser for children’s charities, especially the NSPCC.”

Bromley and Pensnett table tennis stalwart John Cheadle collected the Sporting Champion title from John Polychronakis, Dudley Council chief executive.

Joshua Dudley of Lye received the Young Volunteer of the Year Award from John Cook of Amblecote Christian Centre. After being involved in a near fatal collision with a car, Joshua was flown to hospital by a Midlands Air Ambulance Service helicopter.

Since recovering from his injuries Joshua has so far raised over £36,000 for the Midlands Air Ambulance Service helping to save countless And the final award of the night, The Gordon Lindsay Award for long service to voluntary work, was presented to Heather Cruickshanks of Stourbridge for over 36 years service to the Girl Guide movement.

The award was presented by Viv Astling, a former CEO at Dudley MBC and now one of the Queen's Deputy Lieutenants.