A number of people who have made Northumberland a better place have been honoured.

Heroes who have gone beyond expectations to improve others' lives are recognised at a special event hosted by Northumberland County Council.

The unsung stars were invited to a civic reception at County Hall, where their efforts were celebrated.

Council chairman Councillor John Beynon said: "There really are some incredible people in Northumberland who do so much to make their communities a better place.

"It's a truly humbling experience to meet these residents and hear about their work first hand.

"It's a real honour and everyone who came can be called a local hero."

Among those recognised was Ruth Boyd, who was nominated by Councillor Ian Hutchinson.

Ms Boyd won hearts during the pandemic with her diligent work in her community.

She bought groceries for friends and neighbours, cheered people up by singing and dancing in queues while shopping, visited care homes, and made house calls and leaflet drops to make sure people were okay.

Ms Boyd and her sister made and delivered meals to hospitals, fire stations, and shops in Haltwhistle to keep spirits up.

Councillor Hutchinson believed she deserves recognition because of the dedication she put into helping in her community during such a stressful time.

Another community member, Caroline Richardson, was also honoured, having been nominated by Councillor Gordon Stewart.

Ms Richardson has dedicated much of her time to supporting veterans in Prudhoe and other parts of Tynedale.

She runs a veteran's breakfast club in the town, offers support and advice to veterans, and raises funds for veterans-related good causes.

Working with businesses, she has initiated activities like 'plant a tree' that link veterans with charities and businesses.

A number of others also received deserving recognition.

These efforts ranged from cleaning streets in Alnwick, raising awareness for stoma bag users, and conserving red squirrels, to supporting community centres and volunteering for animal charities.

These heroes reflect the cream of Northumberland's vibrant spirit, whose selfless service often goes unnoticed but contributes immensely to the wellbeing of their communities.