The unsung heroes of Epping Forest were honoured at the annual district council civic awards on Friday night.

MPs, councillors and senior police officers gathered at Gilwell Park in Chingford to toast the achievements of those who go out of their way everyday to make the district a better place.

The event was hosted in a hall transformed to resemble the inside of a marquee, with white cloth draped over the walls and tables filled with guests eager to recognise the efforts of all nominees.

Mary Sartin, who has three months left in her role as chairman of the district council, hosted the event.

Before handing out awards to winners Mrs Sartin, said that all candidates make “immeasurable contributions” to their communities and said it was an honour to meet each one.

Davenant Foundation School pupil, James Lingfield, was chosen for the Young Citizen of the Year Award.

The 14-year-old has played for Davenant in national Boccia finals and has 3,000 followers online as he writes articles for Tottenham Hotspur site E-Spurs.

He said: “I know so many people who I think are more inspirational than me in my school and in my group of friends.

“The award means the world to me and I have got so many people to thank.”

Epping couple John and Sandra Newman, who are first responders for the St John Ambulance Service, were chosen for the 2014 Citizen of the Year Award.

Mr Newman said: “If we can arrive even a minute before the ambulance service then we can make a difference and if the paramedics get there before us we can be an extra pair of hands.

“It is a lovely thought that people recognise what we do. I think it will be a boost for our colleagues, too.

The Youth Council cup was awarded to Edward Gokmen, Imogen Padwick, Aaron Williams and Max Albert.

Each of the youth councillors were recognised for being "shining stars" by raising money for charity and highlighting issues, including being involved in a campaign to improve the district's bus services.

Community Service Medals were given to Simon Galloway and Colette Howell,  of the East of England Ambulance Servic,e and PCSO Louise Coveney and firefighter Martyn Simmonds.

Mr Simmonds was recognised for 30 years of service in the district whilst the others were honoured for working double shifts and giving up annual leave to teach school children about keeping safe on the street and the council's 'Crucial Crew' event.