A MAN who has dedicated more than 20 years of his life to supporting the Royal British Legion was given Didcot's highest community award.

Keith Hughes has not only been an active member of the Didcot and District Branch of the RBL for 23 years, he has also been its Poppy Appeal organiser for the past 10.

His dedication to the role saw the appeal in the town raise £29,500 in 2016 alone.

His tireless efforts were recognised when he was awarded the John Eldridge Award for Voluntary Service.

Mayor of Didcot Jackie Billington said: "Keith is a most worthy winner for this year's John Eldridge Awards due to his many years of voluntary service with the Royal British Legion.

"More than 23 years of volunteering definitely needs to be commended and I am pleased he was selected and recognised for his hard work, commitment and volunteering for such a worthy cause.

"There were several nominees for this award, and each nominee excelled in what they do either as a group or an individual within the community.

"It is fantastic knowing there are so many amazing people that give their time freely to the Didcot community and I would like to personally thank them all for their commitment to the roles that they perform."

Mr Hughes was unable to attend the awards ceremony on Friday night at Didcot Civic Hall as he is currently out of the country.

His nominator, Julie Underwood, said: "Didcot has been proud to be an 'army town' for more than 100 years.

"Acknowledging the work of the RBL Poppy Appeal organiser would be a fitting tribute."

The John Eldridge Award for Voluntary Service was donated by Jean Eldridge in memory of her husband, who died whilst serving as Deputy Mayor of Didcot in 1992.

There were other winners at the 25th awards ceremony, including Peter Phillips, who took home the award for best allotment.

A writing competition for the town's youngsters brought out their creative side as they were asked to pen a piece about 'Didcot in 25 years', which was won by Freddie Finch and Torran Dodd.