Ex-Army serviceman Major Ron Morris was among a dozen people recognised for their contribution to Kingston during the mayor’s awards.

Major Morris, 85, was recognised for his influential work raising money for the Royal Britsh Legion (RBL).

The member of the Surrey Royal British Legion County Committee said: “I have been involved with welfare for a long time. I think it’s a great honour. It’s nice to think you’re appreciated although I do feel that there were other far better qualified people to receive it.

"It was a great surprise and it came out of the blue but I am honoured.”

Lisa Gagliani was also handed an award at the event on Thursday, March 8, at the Guildhall, for her work as chief executive at Kingston Chamber of Commerce.

Ms Gagliani, who is now CEO for the Bright Ideas Trust, a charitable organisation set up to support young people trying to establish themselves in business and the world of work, started her business endeavours as a teenager helping at a Kingston market stall.

Last year she set up a number of employability festivals, encouraging young people to learn about working full-time.

Mother-of-two Alison Eggit was also awarded for her work with young people after she volunteered to run the beaver scout colony at 1st Old Malden Scout Group in a bid to stop it closing down due to a lack of suitable leaders.

She has been a district cub scout leader in New Malden and Kingston since 1994.

Kingston mayor Councillor Patrick Codd said: “These people do a tremendous amount of voluntary work.

“These awards try to show our appreciation for the self sacrifice that is above and beyond what is required.”

Other award winners included Katy Nash, who is well known in New Malden and Kingston.

She received hers after working in Barclays Bank for more than 25 years and serving on the Parent Teacher Association at Christchurch School, New Malden.

Gill Wood, who has a younger sister with Down’s syndrome, is a trustee for Kingston Mencap. She received the award for her efforts in overseeing various new activities, leisure opportunities and clubs for people with learning disabilities.

Jose Blainey picked up the award for her dedicated work as chair of Arthritis Care in New Malden, where she regularly organises events and controls membership data.

Michael Reading received his after serving 39 years as Kingston teacher and governor.

Maria James has championed religious education and the promotion of different faiths in schools as chairman of Kingston Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education since 2004.

Douglas Reynolds, 91, is the committed chairman of the Pensioners Forum often organising events for the elderly.

Catherine Evans is a proactive member of the Christ Church and Age Concern in New Malden.

John and June Fairclough are both well known as a great fundraising couple John and June Fairclough and raised a great amount for the Poppy Appeal.