Cumbria's Woman of the Year has dedicated her victory to the Ukrainian people she has been helping.

Anna Gorst, from Arnside, was given the title at a ceremony on Wednesday for her work with Arnside Homes for Ukraine.

Following the Russian invasion of the country, Ms Gorst kick-started the initiative to help provide homes and shelter to refugees.

She said: "It's always lovely to gain recognition, but honestly, it was never just me.

"The incredible, resilient, strong and good-humoured Ukrainian women who have had to uproot their lives and resettle are the true women of the year, and I would never have been able to achieve so much without my fellow trustees: Rebecca Ladell, David Gee and Neil Punnett."

The Westmorland Gazette: Anna Gorst pictured with some of the Ukrainian people she has helped find a homeAnna Gorst pictured with some of the Ukrainian people she has helped find a home (Image: Newsquest)

The programme came about through a social media post Ms Gorst put out, pleading with locals in Arnside to open up their homes.

Through that, Ukrainians have been matched with families in the area and thousands of pounds have been raised for those in desperate need.

"There is a huge team behind our success, with particular emphasis on the volunteers who gave so much of their time to provide language lessons to our guests," Ms Gorst explained.

"The ceremony was absolutely lovely and it was a real privilege to speak with so many inspirational women."

She said she was still in slight disbelief after coming away as the winner, having never envisaged herself being even nominated in the first place.

"Going forward, we will continue to support our guests as best we can," she said.

"Although they are mainly settled and working, the lack of public transport in the county continues to be a challenge - it would be great to find driving instructors for those who want to learn."

Ms Gorst finished by once again reminding people that, if they want to be hosts or sponsors, they should get in touch.

"There are always new families seeking help, but sadly it's getting harder to identify potential hosts," she said.