WARRINGTON'S Volunteer of the Year award was presented to the founder of the Facebook group, Free Food in Warrington.

Abbie McGann, from Grappenhall, is the face behind the ever-growing social media group, which distributes people's spare food to struggling families.

And on Thursday night she presented with the award at Warrington Guardian's annual Inspiration Awards at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

In December 2017, aged 31, the mum-of-three was cleaning out her freezer when the idea came to her.

She said: "There was loads of food in there from a barbecue we’d had over the summer.

"I knew we weren’t going to eat it before it’s use by date and that it would probably end up being thrown away.

"It seemed so wasteful and I thought there must something I could do about it.”

LETTER > 'Act of kindness at petrol pump astounded me'

In the past year the dedicated group has helped to feed almost 700 families, while struggling new mums have been supported with free milk for their babies.

Abbie uses her free time to run the group along with a team of supportive admins.

Residents donate food as well as cash through a Go Fund Me page which is used to do a week’s worth of shopping to give to families.

READ > These are the winners at our 2018 Inspiration Awards

An emotional Abbie accepted her award amid cheers from the room.

She said: “Thank you to all of my admin team.

“Thank you Warrington Open Doors at Christmas (WODAC).

"They put aside £500 for our charity so if we are ever short of funds or food then WODAC will help us; they’re amazing.

"It would not be possible without members of the Warrington community.

"You make the world a much better place.”

Margaret Newton was the first of our highly commended winners.

The former youth worker at the old YMCA stayed on to wash all the bedding and personal washing for the homeless community.

And after making the move to Room at the Inn when the YMCA closed, she arrives at 8am every morning and stays until everything is washed and dried.

Also winning a highly commended prize was Laura Hindmarsh.

She set up an online support community for parents and carers of children and young people with pathological demand avoidance, a condition on the autistic spectrum, after her five-year-old son Parker was diagnosed with it.