A “true hero” who inspired 600 people from Ely and the surrounding villages to get involved with litter-picking” was crowned the ‘Mike Rouse Community Champion’ at this year’s Ely Hero Awards.

Brian Calvert, who also works with the the local scouts group, was commended for using his social media skills to bring people together and helping them to organise their local litter-picking groups.

The judges said: “He has also made contact with local businesses and gained sponsorship which has enabled him to procure litter-picking equipment that he lends out to the various community groups.

“This empowers them to undertake litter-picks without the hassle of acquiring the tools required to do the job.”

After winning the award, Brian said: “For me, it’s about passing things on to the next generation and putting putting pride back in. That’s very important to me.

“I got it from my parents so I want to keep it going.

“I hope I’ve inspired other people to carry on doing the same things.”

He added: “The awards are bringing everyone in the community together, which is fantastic.”

The other finalists in this category were Kathryn Rowland and Paul Briggs.

The judges said of the other finalists in this category: “The calibre of nominations for this award has been superb, making the judges’ task a very difficult one.

“The number of people doing truly amazing work for their local community is impressive

“Everyone nominated for this award could have been a finalist.

“However, the three finalists stood out because, although their work may be with a particular community group, they have all managed to expend their reach far beyond that group.

“They have all made a difference to many different people and inspired many more.”

The award was sponsored by Price Bailey.