Local resident, Jane Young, has scooped GreenSquare’s Good Neighbour Award for 2019.

Mrs Young, 69, from Royal Wootton Bassett, won the £100 prize for her voluntary work over the last 30 years.

“It was quite a shock actually when I was told the news. I thought it was a joke," she said.

Mrs Young was nominated by Mark Smart from GreenSquare Group for her work providing food for the homeless. “Jane may be retired, but she works non-stop supporting various charities,” said Mr Smart.

GreenSquare Group develops and manages homes for those on low incomes. Their award recognizes those who work tirelessly for others in the community.

Sue Matthews, community involvement officer, said: “I’m so glad Jane has won the Good Neighbour Award; she is a real inspiration.” Two other Wiltshire residents were recognized as runners up, with Toni MacKay from Corsham and Judith Fooks from Malmesbury both receiving a £50 prize.

Mrs Matthews said: “These awards are a great opportunity to shine a light on people like Jane, and the runners up, who make a real difference to the local community where they live.”

Mrs Young moved from Scotland to Wiltshire in 1988, and worked as an accountant. Her volunteering started after encountering a homeless young man who used to go to her son's school. “He was living in tent,” said Mrs Young. “But I brought him home and sorted him out. It all went from there.”

Mrs Young runs several Facebook groups through which she receives requests for help, including toys and clothing for terminally-ill children, dog blankets, and surplus supermarket food for the homeless. “For whatever people ask for really,” Mrs Young said.

The winner admits spending the prize money on food for the homeless. “When you are better off than those around you, you want to share it,” she said.

The cause is close to her heart, having left home in her mid-teens and temporarily sleeping rough in Torqay's public toilets. “I’ve never forgotten that experience,” said Mrs Young.

Paying tribute to other Royal Wootton Bassett residents, Mrs Young said: "I can’t explain how good it is to know them. I couldn’t do it without all these people helping me.”

Mrs Young added: "I don’t really need the award. It’s not what I do it for. But I’m grateful that people think enough of me to give me the award."