VOLUNTEERS and a business were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the community at the Good for Leigh Awards.

Tony Prior, who volunteers with Leigh Lions and the Leigh Folk Festival, potter Madelaine Murphy, builder David Green and his wife Heather and Leigh Waitrose each received an award in a ceremony at the community centre in Elm Road.

Carole Mulroney, chairman of Leigh Town Council, which gave out the awards, said: “Each year we give awards to those people who are seen to do something beneficial to the environment and community of Leigh.

“When the call has gone out that we need equipment or volunteers, they have stepped up to the mark and answered the call.”

As chairman of the fundraising and activities committee of Leigh Lions, Tony Prior, 63, of Hillway, Chalkwell, has made sure the charitable organisation has worked with the town council to arrange events.

When snow meant the council’s Easter fair had to be moved inside St Clements Church Hall last year, Mr Prior and other Lions stayed outside to cook a barbecue.

He said: “I like to think it’s an award recognising all the work literally hundreds of unpaid volunteers in Leigh and the borough do.”

The council thanked Waitrose, in London Road, for its donations to local charities and community organisations and the time its staff have given up to volunteer.

Workers have helped out at Leigh Regatta, done gardening at Little Havens children’s hospice in Thundersley and cleared out Prittlewell Brook over the past year.

Peter Rose, who collected the award with this colleague Karen Green, said: “It’s fantastic for the branch.

“It’s good our customers and the people of Leigh have recognised what we are trying to do as part of Waitrose and part of the community.

Councillors wanted to recognise the contribution members of the community have made to the community centre, which opened in September.

Madelaine Murphy has helped decorate the centre and has set up the Affordable Art Wall in the centre through her links with the artistic community.

Artists can exhibit their work on the wall at the centre for free. Mrs Mulroney said: “When we moved in the centre looked pretty grey and institutional. Madelaine has helped with general decorating and creating the area used for exhibitions.”