VOLUNTEERS who tirelessly work to improve their community were celebrated at a special awards event.

The Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) awards event took place on Friday night and dedicated volunteers were recognised for their contribution to the community.

The Shaftesbury Youf Gang were among those recognised and were awarded the Group Award sponsored by AB Ports. The group aims to provide a safe and secure environment, in which young people can build self-confidence, can work as a team and have mutual respect for each other.

Craig Ellis was announced as the winner of GAVO's Adult Volunteer Award, sponsored by Carling in the Community, for his work as the lead co-ordinator for Gwent Police Cadets.

The Young Volunteer Award, sponsored by the Target Group, was Keiran Richards who set up the Active Group for the Sparkle Youth Group which is a provision that runs out of Serennu Children’s Centre when he was 13-years-old.

The group offers young people with disabilities leisure opportunities in a safe and supportive environment. Kieran facilitates two weekly sessions around leisure activities and health lifestyles.

Other winners were Growing Space, based at Tredegar House, who won the Environmental Award sponsored by Go Compare for their work to tackle social exclusion often experienced by people with mental health problems and encourages them to see themselves in a positive and constructive light and to maximise their unlimited potential.

The Trustee Volunteer Award went to Patricia Wright, a trustee and chairperson of the Share Centre and is a champion for the diverse communities and cultures that make up Stow Hill in Newport.

Meanwhile, the Personal Journey Award went to Elphas Gunguwo , founder of Newport BME SPORTS forum, BME Education and BME Housing forums, and the Inspirational Volunteer Award went to Alexander Willis, a member of the Newport Youth Council who served as the first ever Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Newpor

The GAVO Chairman's Award awarded to PC Val Byran for services to the Pill community and a Special Acknowledgement Award was given to the Lynette Webbe's family in recognition of her outstanding contributions throughout Newport before her death in May this year.