A COMMUNITY stalwart has been recognised for her invaluable volunteer work in the Manningtree area with an esteemed award.

Sharon Robinson, from Mistley, was presented with the Chairman’s choice for the Community Award 2020 by Mistley Parish Council’s chairman Charlotte Howell on Monday night.

Mrs Robinson, 59, was awarded the accolade at the council’s first virtual meeting via Zoom Video Communications.

The meeting was held online due to the coronavirus lockdown.

At the meeting, Mrs Howell said the prestigious award celebrates someone who has served the community.

She said: “In the past few months looking after our community has been more important than ever and for the 2020 award I am delighted to give the community award to Sharon Robinson.

“She has single handedly managed the Manningtree Shout Out page on Facebook, and it has been an invaluable way of exchanging information.”

The group has more than 8,000 members since Mrs Robinson set it up in 2015.

Mrs Robinson and her husband Jamie also mange the Manningtree Royal British Legion branch.

Mrs Howell added: “She has also set up a volunteer group for the vulnerable and the elderly for Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford and Bradfield during the coronavirus outbreak.

“I am humbled and awed to give her this award.”

An official award ceremony will be held later in the year where Mrs Robinson will receive a trophy.

On receiving the recognition Mrs Robinson said: “It does mean a lot and my legion makes me one busy lady.

“The Facebook page enabled a very quick response, when I asked for volunteers I got more than 150 which were all registered with Essex County Council and DBS checked.

“It enabled me to form Manningtree Shout Out Crisis Support Team which I organise daily and look after the vulnerable with prescription pick up and delivery, and light shopping.

“More than 500 support requests have been actioned since setting up on March 16.

“Even before lockdown I just knew we would need to do something so I got working to make it happen.

“I was then approached by councillors and our MP Sir Bernard Jenkin and have worked alongside them since.”