A WI member who works tirelessly for her local community has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Retired social worker and Masham WI member Joy Rayden has won the organisation’s Ann Martin Award for her services to the community.

Mrs Rayden single-handedly set up a Wednesday Welcome Club for dementia sufferers and their carers which proved so successful it received visits from charity representative who want to replicate it.

The club is just one of many initiatives launched by Mrs Rayden who was also involved in setting up a community garden in Masham.

In nominating her for the award, Masham WI secretary Marcia Newton described Joy as “an unassuming, quiet, hard-working individual”.

She added: “Joy is well named in that joy is what she brings to everyone who comes under her care.

“Joy’s whole career as a social worker has meant she has been immersed every day in giving help to people in their darkest hours in practical as well as medical and spiritual ways.”

The Wednesday Welcome Club meets at Masham Methodist Church Hall from 12.30pm and new members are invited .