A COMMUNITY champion who does everything from cooking a Sunday dinner for 70 people each week to planting flowers and dressing up as Father Christmas has been honoured for his dedication to his village.

David Woods, from Ludworth, near Durham, was awarded the Chairman's Medal, which is County Durham's highest honour.

Mr Woods is the voluntary chairman of Ludworth Community Centre, working to coordinate village fairs, parties and afternoon teas, as well as cooking a hot Sunday dinner for around 70 people every week.

Presenting him with his medal, Councillor Lethbridge said: “Mr Woods is an extremely worthy nomination for the Chairman’s Medal.

"He makes an incredible contribution and his legacy is plain to see in Ludworth. Mr Woods suffers from Multiple Sclerosis but his illness does not prevent him from helping others.

"He is passionate about delivering positive changes for his area and creates a real sense of community.”

The Northern Echo:

David Woods, pictured with his partner Sandra and daughter Rachael, receiving his Chairman's Medal from Cllr John Lethbridge

Mr Woods, who was accompanied by his partner Sandra and daughter Rachael to receive his medal, said: “It was a great honour to receive the Chairman’s Medal and to be recognised for the things I do for Ludworth.

"I am very proud of what I have achieved and hope to continue into the future.”

Mr Woods also works to keep Ludworth a safe and attractive place to live, planting bulbs and flower displays to help the village win a Britain in Bloom award and setting up the neighbourhood watch scheme.

He was also involved in securing £57,000 of Sports England funding for a skate park, has raised thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal and did fundraising to get a Christmas tree and decorations for Ludworth.

Local children also enjoy Mr Woods' festive visits, in full Santa costume, to donate selection boxes to schools each Christmas.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels, who represents Ludworth, nominated Mr Woods to receive the Chairman’s Medal.

She said: “Dave Woods is an ordinary local man doing extraordinary things to ensure improvements and bringing changes to his local community.

"He has an outstanding desire to help others and is a humble, kind, courteous gentleman who seeks nothing in return for the time he gives to others.”