THREE awards have been bestowed for outstanding members of the community.

Westhoughton Town Council has shone a light on three people who are dedicated to contributing to local life.

Chris Buckley has been selected by the town council as one of two civic medal winners this year.

He has served the area for over 20 years, since he moved in 1990. He co-founded the Westhoughton Community Network and has also been involved in organising festivals and entertainment, alongside his environmental work with Friends of Eatock Lodge, the Bolton Greenspace Project and Bolton Green Umbrella.

On receiving the announcement that he had won the award, Mr Buckley said: "I'm a bit surprised!

"I wasn't expecting it. I like being in the background."

The group is now in its eighth year and focused on using his marketing skills to give Westhoughton residents an online presence.

He said: "There's so many great groups. We get them together, we share information."

The second civic medal was awarded to former Mayor of Bolton, Peter L Finch, in recognition of his longstanding service to the community both in a civic and voluntary capacity.

Mr Finch was a member of Westhoughton Town Council for ten years, becoming the town's mayor from 1986 to 1987. He also served the borough as a councillor and is also a Bolton Alderman.

Local resident Sophie Ashton was also presented with a certificate of achievement.

Ms Ashton was praised for her many achievements, including football, acting and completing London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art exams.

Ms Ashton has put her acting skills to use on television, making an appearance on The Big Audition and performing in pantomimes.

She has also been involved with organisations benefitting the homeless and has presented on Howfen Radio.

The recipients were chosen by the town council after a selection process, in which names were put forward for consideration from the public.

The awards were presented by the Town Mayor, Councillor Arthur Price.