THE Good Citizen of the Year Award for people aged over 55 went to a woman who was a driving force in the team that created a popular community hall.

Mary Brian picked up the award, largely as a result of her involvement with Oakridge Hall for All. She has delivered a sense of purpose and direction for the hall, galvanising local people and providing stability in the community.

Mrs Brian, who is 70 and lives in Shooters Way, South View, was nominated for the award by former borough council leader Paul Harvey.

She said: "The work done to get the hall off the ground was a real team effort so I feel as if I am accepting it on everyone's behalf, rather than it being an individual award.

"I am delighted and very proud to have picked up this award. I love Basingstoke and think it is great that we reward people who do things to make the town better.

"I was very surprised when my name was called out.

"The other people up for the award are all such good people and I never thought I would be the one to come out on top."

Mrs Brian was a borough councillor for Oakridge between 1972 and 1991.

It was her vigour that saw the Mary Rose Court centre built for young people with housing needs, and she tackled the issues of domestic and family violence before they were really recognised or the laws changed.

She returned to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in May when she was elected as a member for Popley East.

THE under-20 age category of the Good Citizen of the Year Award went to a young woman who has done a lot to get the voice of youth heard in the Basingstoke area.

Emma Biermann, who is 19 and lives in Reading Road, Chineham, was given the award in recognition of her dedication to representing the views of young people in Basingstoke and Deane and Hampshire as a whole.

She is a member of Hampshire County Council's Youth Strategy Group, the Youth Parliament and is also media spokesperson for the British Youth Council.

In addition to all of this, Miss Biermann was one of the founding members of the Youth of Basingstoke and Deane, a group that represents young people in the borough in discussions with the council, businesses and other organisations.

She said: "I did not expect to win this and am very proud. There were so many great nominations and I was really pleased just to be nominated.

"I do not see this as an individual award but one for all of the people who have given time to help me and my colleagues in the youth organisations."

In addition to her youth work, Miss Biermann has raised money to fund travel abroad, where she has then raised more money to aid people less fortunate than herself, and has promoted citizenship and democracy.

Her nominator wrote that the teenager is passionate about what she does and has already put more back into the community than most people do in a lifetime.