A champion of the Dockenfield community has been awarded a BEM in the King's New Year Honours list.

Jill Trout has been appointed a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to the community in Dockenfield.

Her achievements over many decades include running annual village events and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes locally.

Current Dockenfield Parish Council chairman Amanda Adolph, parish clerk Jessica Hobday and past council chairman Paul Wood, who nominated Jill for the award, released a joint statement paying tribute to her community service.

They said: "Dockenfield Parish Council are delighted that Jill Trout’s outstanding dedication and service to the community in Dockenfield and the Kingsley Organisation have been recognised with this award.

"Jill has served continuously as a councillor or chairman of the parish council for more than 30 years in which role she has been a major contributor to the sustainable development of the village.

"Jill has devoted much of her personal time to promoting the community spirit through her work on the activities committee which organises the annual village fete, community Christmas party, organising the Dockenfield Christmas tree and Christmas carols.

"Jill’s many contributions to the community provide that vital glue which brings the community together."

In addition to her work in Dockenfield, Jill has also been a valued part of the creation and development of the Kingsley Organisation since its formation in 1987.

She has been a tireless fund-raiser, in particular with annual sponsored walks, fund-raising events and connecting with donors. Her fundraising total is estimated in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The parish council's joint statement added: "Congratulations to Jill on a very well-deserved award!"