BLACKBURN with Darwen council has presented awards to people who make a difference in the borough.

The Pat on the Back Awards, organised on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen's Local Public Service Board, were set-up to recognise the people who contribute to the borough and strive to make the area a better place to live.

Winners included a team established to tackle burglary in the borough, a running group that is attracting hundreds of people each week and a football team that encourages people with disabilities.

A ceremony was held at Blackburn College on Wednesday to present the worthy winners with their award.

One lucky winner was home-grown charity, Mum’s the Word, which aims to recycle school uniforms and activity wear to keep them out of landfill.

Caroline Fotios, of Mum’s the Word, said: “We were delighted to win the award. We weren’t expecting to win because there’s so many other deserving people and causes out there who are doing good things.”

Coun Kate Hollern, council leader and chair of Blackburn with Darwen’s Local Public Service Board, said: “The judging panels were humbled to see the sheer amount of nominations which have highlighted the excellent work, dedication and tenacity that people have shown working across the public and voluntary sector.

"There is little chance to reward the hard-work of people who work in these sectors. This is why our Local Public Service Board felt it important to continue these awards as a way of recognising and honouring the people who make a difference in our wonderful Borough.

“All of those people and teams that were nominated should be extremely proud of themselves.

“I would like to thank everybody who took the time out to nominate - we received a total of 160 nominations across the nine categories - all of which were deserving of an award in their own right.”

Each winner or winning team received £600 and runners-up got £300, to spend on improving their service or to donate to a local charity.