The Chairman of Somerset County Council has recognised the work of a Burnham-On-Sea community group at an annual award ceremony.

Somerset County Council Chairman Councillor William Wallace has presented awards to over 35 individuals and groups across the County, including Burnham and Highbridge Hands Of Change.

Chairman Cllr Wallace, pictured, said: “A huge well done to everyone who received recognition for all they have achieved during this year’s Chairman’s Award ceremony. It was a night of celebration, recognition and thanks, with over 120 people present. I was delighted to meet everyone and pass on my thanks in person for all they do in their community and beyond.”

Hands of Change is a small group of friends wanting to do some good in Burnham and Highbridge. Just over a year after launching, Hands of Change now has over 800 social media members who set up and run a whole range of activities throughout the community.

Members are good at spotting gaps in provision and filling them, whether that be for people with autism, mental health problems or elderly and isolated people.

From a fortnightly tea party for elderly and isolated people, to a monthly craft session for people with mental health issues, and a fortnightly drop-in for anyone at all.

They became winners of the Sedgemoor district Star Award during National Volunteers Week in June earlier this year, pictured, which recognises volunteers’ dedication, hard work and commitment.

Hands of Change were then put forward with other district winners to claim the Chairman’s County Star Volunteer Award.

Steve Ballinger, Community Agent for Burnham & Highbridge, said: “I nominated Hands of Change for the Sedgemoor award which they won a couple of months ago. The district winners went forward to the Somerset-wide award.”

“Hands Of Change do so much good work in the community, a lot of which goes unseen. It is a truly inspirational group with brilliant volunteers who are passionate about their community. It’s great to see this hard work rewarded.”

Leader Kay Barrett told “We are very excited to have received this award we would like to say a huge thank you to Steve Ballinger for believing in us from the start and nominating us for this award.”

“We were over the moon when in the summer we got our first award and so to get the overall volunteers award for the whole of Somerset was amazing.”

She added: “We have some fantastic volunteers who are all very deserving of this award, from the people who help out at the Go Socialize group to our drop in and now the new Burnham Board Games mornings and Lidl, Greggs food runs to the people who give support in the community.”

“Our volunteers are all stars giving their unwanted items to people in need, and donating clothes toiletries and unused medication to charities further afield like Taunton Open Door and Taunton RAFT.”

“We have made amazing contacts through the things we do and as well as Cheddar Hands Of Change who we work closely with, we now have a Bridgwater Hands Of Change up and running.”