TWO girls have been presented with a special award in recognition of their voluntary work in a village near York.

Alice Thornton and Isabelle Hartley are this year’s winners of the annual Bishopthorpe Youth Award, which has been presented since 2001.

Stewart Harrison, chairman of Bishopthorpe Parish Council, said the award recognised young people in the village for working with young and elderly people, within the church, schools, sports clubs or organisations either in the village or the wider world.

He said Izzy had won it for her work with the local Brownie Pack, having joined at the age of five and having now become the Official Young Leader, and Alice had received because she had been a leading light in annual village pantomime for several years, always encouraging and helping other members of the cast.

“Our judge this year was the local Methodist minister, the Reverend Julia Skitt, who had to choose the winners from nominations received in December 2017,” he said.

“This can’t have been an easy task but she selected Isabelle and Alice.”

He said Izzy joined the Brownie Pack at the age of five, two years before the official age, because her mother was a volunteer leader and she left at 10 to join the Guides.

“However, Izzy returned the following week eager to help and support new Brownies joining the group,” he said.

“This has continued for the last five years, and shows no sign of changing because she is now the Official Young Leader of the Bishopthorpe Brownie Pack.

“Alice was selected because for the previous six years she has been a leading light in our annual village pantomime produced by the Ebor Players.”

Mr Harrison said that Alice was always encouraging and helping other members of the pantomime cast.

“If you’ve ever seen the pantomime, you will have no doubt noticed that Alice always pins on a smile and produces a great performance for the people of Bishopthorpe to enjoy,” he added.