A GROUP of veteran volunteers from North Yorkshire have been honoured after they clocked up almost four centuries of helping others between them.

The eight selfless residents were each awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours list, receiving their gongs at a ceremony at County Hall in Northallerton from the Queen's representative Lord Crathorne, the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

The medals are awarded to those who have made a "sustained and notable contribution to the local community", among them Sheila Bruce for her services to Wistow and Selby. This includes her involvement with the Save The Children Fund, Meals On Wheels, the Heritage Appeal Fund for repairs to a local Norman church, and her roles as a magistrate and the committee working on Wistow's village design statement.

June Denby, who chairs the Selby and Ainsty Conservative Association and is a local parish councillor, was rewarded for 63 years of work for the Conservative Party. Gordon Eastham's gong stemmed from his services to higher education as grounds maintenance manager at the University of York, where he has turned parkland into a centre for learning and leisure, created an oasis for wildflowers and rare birds on its Heslington East campus and been recognised by the Woodland Trust for his work on Kimberlow Hill.

Medals also went to Terence Frazier, whose 39 years of volunteering for the National Trust at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are a record, who organised the Prince of Wales' 1997 visit and who mentors new volunteer speakers, Dr Alistair Sutcliffe for his services to the medical profession in Whitby which have seen him climb the world's seven highest mountains to support St Catherine's Hospice in Scarborough, and Robert Tibbits for his voluntary service to the National Railway Museum in York and railway heritage - including a role in restoring iconic locomotive Duchess of Hamilton - and his contribution to Easingwold School, junior cricket and running a ski trip to Austria.

The list was completed by Stanley Peverley, honoured for his services to Redcar.