TWO men have received recognition for their volunteer work in the borough and abroad.

Dr Keith Thomson and Ian Byett were the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards.

It was the first time in the awards’ history that these awards have been handed out, in recognition for the sheer number of nominations this year.

Dr Keith, as he is known, retired from his job as a consultant anaesthetist at Basingstoke hospital last year, but shows little sign of slowing down.

The 67-year-old has made headlines in The Gazette and nationally for his selfless work in Africa, working on mercy ships to give medical aid to those who need it the most.

He has already made two trips to African countries this year and is working on a project that aims to bring a similar scheme to China.

Only last month Dr Keith appeared on the front page of The Gazette after saving the life of an African woman (pictured right with Dr Keith)by raising the funds needed to pay for surgery to remove a tumour from her jaw.

Dr Keith said: “I am totally gobsmacked and honoured to be chosen for this award.”

The other winner of the award was Ian Byett, life vice-president of Basingstoke and Mid Hants Athletics Club.

Ian is a prominent figure in the athletics community, and as well as his role in Basingstoke, he is the president of the English Cross Country Championships and the secretary of the English Cross Country Association.

He can be found coaching and offering words of encouragement to young athletes at Basingstoke and Mid Hants, home of Down Grange, which is a short walk away from his home on The Berg estate.

Ian said: “I’m absolutely delighted they have given me a lifetime award.

“I was on the list of people for the Basingstoke Ambassador award and I was just very pleased to be here with everybody else. It came as a great surprise at the end of the evening.”