A St Albans woman has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to volunteering with a national award.

Avril Foster, chairman of the Macmillan Cancer Support St Albans and district fundraising committee, received the award during the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week (June 1 to June  7 June).

Kerry Cunnane, Hertfordshire Fundraising Manager, explained why she nominated Avril.

She said: "Since she started volunteering with Macmillan over 30 years ago, Avril really has gone the extra mile for Macmillan. As committee chairman she has been instrumental in driving the group to raise around £25,000 every year to help people affected by cancer.

"She is a real people person and has fantastic rapport with other committee members as well as Macmillan supporters in the local community. Avril’s contribution to Macmillan is inspiring and I’m delighted that her unwavering commitment has been recognised this Volunteers’ Week with a Douglas Macmillan Award."

Ms Foster, who started fundraising for Macmillan in 1976, said: "I had just lost my mother to cancer when I saw a jumble sale advertised in my local church that was fundraising for Macmillan. I popped in and was immediately invited to help out. Everything else just went from there, really.

"I have lost a number of family members and dear friends to cancer and that is what keeps me going. My aim is to raise as much money as possible to help people affected by cancer and I always maximise fundraised income by trying to secure donations of food and drink or free venues for events.

"I was amazed and delighted to hear that I have been nominated for the Douglas Macmillan Award. It had never crossed my mind that I might win an award but it is certainly very nice to have my efforts recognised."

Ms Foster is gradually losing her sight and will not be able to continue her role as chairman.

She said: "I hope to remain as a member of the committee. We have lost a number of members over the years to ill health and age so we would love to attract new committee members."