People who go that extra mile to make life better for others have been praised by the Mayor of Barnet in this year’s civic awards.

They include a teenager who started volunteering when he was just 13 and others who have dedicated as many as 50 years of their lives to make a difference in their community.

“We have so many active and dedicated volunteers,” Mayor of Barnet Cllr Alison Moore said. “They have made a significant contribution over the years, showing exceptional commitment, dedication, and selflessness. Their contributions have had a lasting impact on the community.”

This year awards given at Hendon Town Hall were for ‘lifetime achievement’, ‘outstanding service’ and ‘young citizen of the year’.

They recognised those who have gone “above and beyond” whether fundraising, volunteering or other forms of service to improve the quality of life for others.

Citations describing their contributions were read out by the King’s representative, Deputy Lieutenant of Barnet Martin Russell.

Teenager Benyamin Shalamzari was the youngest award winner. He has been volunteering since he was 13, working with the Hope of Childs Hill charity, and has now turned 18, and won an outstanding service award.

Others recognised with lifetime achievement awards included Mike Noronha, who is volunteer curator, treasurer and trustee of Barnet Museum, and Kevin McSharry, for dedicating 50 years' service in Colindale as former head teacher at St James' Catholic High School and chair of the Colindale Community Trust.

Sharda Jagpal also won a lifetime achievement award after devoting 50 years of “efforts and passion” to the Hindu community and Cultural Society.

Ursula Stone received an outstanding service to the community award for “her energy, passion and innovation” with the Flower Bank community interest project.

Deacon Anthony Clark was also recognised for “outstanding service” providing support and guidance to those in need.

Bishnu Bahadur Gurung, who does voluntarily service for the Nepalese community at Burnt Oak to strengthen its local ties, also received a prize, as did Tudorita Poenaru was recognised for her years of volunteering.

Emmanuel Dowuona-Hammond, who helps different community groups by raising funds and charitable assistance, also won an outstanding service award.

Organisations receiving the honour included the volunteers, drivers, donors and staff at Together in Barnet, a group that has helped people facing homelessness over the past 20 years. Also recognised was Barnet Asian Women’s Association.