Around 70 volunteers who make up the “backbone of the community” in Helston and the surrounding area have been thanked for their work.

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas invited volunteers from all organisations across his West Cornwall constituency to attend one of three “Big Thank You” events being held in Helston, Penzance and St Ives.

In Helston, more than 70 people joined together at the Central Methodist Church for a cup of tea and some cake to be personally thanked by Mr Thomas.

He said: “So many people carry out fantastic work for our communities in West Cornwall and much more could be done to thank people properly for their vital contribution.

“The very least I could do was to invite them along for a cuppa and a slice of cake, and to find out if there is anything that I can do to make things easier for them.

“Volunteers really are the backbone of our community and it’s fantastic that in Cornwall well over 30 per cent of us are prepared to give up some of our spare time to help others.

“They are a forgotten army and I was very happy to put together these events to show some small appreciation of their commitment to their community.”

As he spoke to the volunteers, Mr Thomas also raised the issue of tackling loneliness and isolation.

“I have committed to doing what I can this year to ensuring that people in West Cornwall are not stuck at home without human contact for days on end and several of the organisations that came along make great efforts to help the lonely,” he added.

"I'm asking voluntary groups to join me in looking at how we can connect people with these excellent activities so that no-one is lost or forgotten."