Unsung heroes who work quietly behind the scenes to benefit the community they live in, sometimes in extraordinary circumstances, have found themselves in the spotlight.

Jennifer (Jenny) Harvey from Helston and a group of Coverack residents were among those recognised at this year's Cornwall Council Civic Awards, in a reception held at County Hall.

Jenny was nominated by Cornwall councillor Mike Thomas, in recognition of her "outstanding support to the annual Poppy Appeal."

She has singlehandedly led a team of supporters to more than double the Helston and district annual Royal British Legion Poppy Day appeal fund. When she took over the role three years ago Helston collected approximately £15,000 and now averages more than £30,000.

Jenny has motivated a range of people - including her husband Stuart - to support her on her drive to raise as much money as possible, which occupies her time all the year round.

She has negotiated with her employer Tesco to be a base to launch her campaigns and sell Poppy Day merchandise, with the support of Helston's mayor each year.

Jenny has also introduced an annual Remembrance Weekend Concert at St Michael's Church.

Council chair Mary May said: "Within this British Legion area Jenny is highly respected for the work that she does - a truly outstanding person and deserving of a Civic Award."

There was also a Special Award presented to those involved in the response to devastating floods in Coverack last July.

Among them were landlord of the Paris Hotel Ian Richards, who opened up his pub as the headquarters of the recovery effort, Chloe Marsland, who at the time ran cafe Chloe's on the seafront and gave much support to residents, and Melissa Norman, manager of the Porthgwara Nursing Home, who was recognised for the support she gave her residents and other local people.

Also included in the award were Team Rubicon - a team of armed forces veterans who helped everywhere they could - represented by Becky Maynard and Kanwar Singh of Khalsa Aid, a charity based in Slough who were on hand to do whatever they could to help residents who was unable to make the ceremony.

They were nominated by Julian Rand, Cornwall councillor for the area, "for their outstanding contribution to the community of Coverack in its time of need."

More than 50 homes and businesses were flooded and the main road washed away when rain, thunder and hail hit Coverack on the afternoon of July 18 last year. The Environment Agency recorded approximately 180mm of rainfall in three hours – three times the monthly average for the whole of July.

The road was cut off and a number of cottages and shops on the seafront were completely overwhelmed by the flood, with many suffering major damage.

However, despite the incredibly difficult circumstances the community pulled together and with the help of the emergency services and Cornwall Council teams - including Cormac, who worked around the clock to repair the road in five days - the village managed to reopen for the rest of the season.

Mrs May said: "There are countless people who should be thanked for their response and I am delighted that we have some of those responsible here to receive Civic Awards on behalf of the community."

The annual awards give members of the council the chance to recognise people in their communities who made a difference, with every councillor able to nominate someone.

At this year's ceremony 34 people were presented with awards.