A MAN who has dedicated decades of his life to caring for his community has become the first person to be awarded the Freedom of the Vale of White Horse .

White Horse Show chairman Derek Kelsey, 69, has already received an MBE from the Queen for his services, and now a new honour has been created for him and others who give up their time and efforts.

Since he got involved in the show more than 30 years ago, Derek has helped raise more than £360,000 for community facilities and services.

The award was presented at the show on Monday by district council chairman Matthew Barber.

Mr Kelsey said: “It’s not often people render me speechless, but it’s happened. I feel very humbled.

“It’s a tremendous privilege. We’re a very small committee and each member is just as important, so this is for them too.”

Mr Barber said: “It’s right that we celebrate his outstanding contribution to the life of the district. The whole community should be grateful for the work he’s done.”