A FLOOKBURGH man was presented with a BBC Make A Difference award for his dedicated charity work.

Toby Ryland, 18, was shortlisted for The Together Award and was invited to a ceremonial evening held at The Halston Hotel at Carlisle where he was presented with the award.

He was chosen for the work he has done organising coffee mornings and fundraisers in his community and contributing toward numerous organisations.

Toby said: “I have lived in Flookburgh all my life and I only heard about the awards earlier this year. I was nominated and shortlisted for the award over some of the charity work I have done.

“I’ve hosted a lot of coffee mornings and they raise a lot of funds for charities. Every coffee morning has a different charity in mind.

“We’ve done MacMillan twice, and last year we raised about £1200. This year we’ve raised £600.

“February, we walked for MIND and raised about £200 for them.

“In April we raised £700 for St Mary’s Hospice.

“I’ve been hosting these since the beginning of lockdown, but people had been doing it for years beforehand but they wanted someone to carry it on.

“That’s all I do but I put a bit of money in myself for prizes and biscuits, and they give me the hall for free.

“I’ve worked in M&S in Kendal for about a year and I really enjoy it there.

“I feel very grateful for getting The Together Award, and I’m so grateful for everyone who supported the coffee mornings.

“I didn’t expect it at all.

“I want to give a big thank you to the community and the helpers, particularly Paul Foster, Jeni McConnell, Vera Jackson, Barbara Keith, Ruth Airey, Howard and Denise Jones, and mum and dad for all their support.

“I would like to dedicate this award to all you amazing people in my village, who have really supported me no end with my projects and Coffee mornings.

“If it wasn’t for all of them during these last couple of years.

“I would never be able to host such events and raise such amounts of money for Charities, and bring everyone together, especially out at the Village Halls.

“Great to see another amazing person there too, who has been an absolute star in our Community, Fiona Hanlon, who serves this community continuously despite her own personal struggles and of whom is a wonderful Councillor too.

“Also, with a project of her own ‘Olive Way’ Gardens in Grange, which has been a little sanctuary for the people of Grange to come and sit down and reflect.”