A COMMUNITY stalwart's long service to a thriving hub has been recognised.

Ann Reed, former chairwoman of Hexham Community Centre, was bestowed with the honour of the Honorary Steward and Bailiff of Hexham Award by Hexham Town Council.

Ann served as chairman for four years until handing over the responsibility to Steve Ball in December, but she remains on the board of trustees to continue her 15-plus years involved with the centre.

She is fondly regarded for her involvement in leading the Christmas day lunches for people who feel lonely during the festive period, as well as working with people of all ages including the various elderly groups and Hexham Youth Initiative and the centre's playgroup, which is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Current chairman of trustees at the centre, Mr Ball, said: "Ann is the constant thread running through all the excellent work at the centre."

Ann becomes the 18th custodian of the ancient award since it was reinstated by the town council in 2001.