Village's 'Coronation Community Champion' thought her award was a scam

A woman named as one of only 500 Coronation Community Champions has urged people in her village to volunteer.

Denise Sage lives in Porlock on Exmoor in Somerset and received the award because of her huge amount of community volunteering work.

She took part in the village's 'Big Help Out' event on Monday 8 May, which was aimed at signing up local people to groups and projects across the area.

The Big Help Out is aimed at being a lasting legacy of the coronation, with events taking place around the country.

Commenting on her award, Denise said: "It came as an email and I genuinely thought it was a scam and I actually deleted it!

"The second one came through and I actually read it. I found nobody was asking me for money or bank details and then the box arrived - then I was excited!

"We've got a thriving community full of really wonderful people. And my award which, apart from being a shock, really is a village award. I do nothing on my own. It's because I know a lot of lovely people who will rally around. So it is genuinely a Porlock people's award."

This beautiful place, perched on the edge of Exmoor and home to around 1,500 people, is packed with many willing to help out in a variety of ways.

Among those hoping to attract new talent at the event was David Hancock, who runs a group called Porlock Community Maintenance Team.

He said: "It's a lovely team of guys who are all ex-professional people, tradesmen and half of us getting together is the coffee afterwards. But it helps the village and it makes Porlock what it is - a brilliant place to live."

Porlock is one of the most isolated communities in the region and that's why events like this and across the whole of the West Country may end up being so important.

Manager of the Porlock Visitor Centre, Debbie Stanyon, said: "Community groups - Dovery Manor Museum, the library and the visitor centre could not open without volunteer help and there's things like marshalling at events or first aid. So there's so much potential for anybody to get involved for as little or as often as they want to. "

The coronation might be over - but it’s hoped in places like this its legacy will last.