SHE is the big-hearted Hampshire woman who lived up to her name by establishing a network of volunteer helpers during the Covid crisis.

Hannah Awesome set up the New Milton Covid Support Group, which helped more than 400 people in need of help as the pandemic continued to tighten its grip.

The 250 volunteers performed about 700 tasks for fellow residents in the New Milton area.

They delivered shopping, took dogs for a walk and collected prescriptions as well as helping to tackle social isolation by acting as phone-buddies.

Now Hannah has been crowned New Milton's 2020/21 Citizen of the Year for her "outstanding" contribution to the community.

Married with two children aged three and eight, Hannah, 40, used her experience as a fundraising manager for the Tearfund charity to launch the group online.

She received her award from the mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, at a socially-distanced ceremony at the town's recreation ground.

She said: "I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the New Milton Covid Group. It was a real team effort by all involved in helping the community.”

The group was launched 14 months ago as the Covid outbreak began to take hold.

In a statement issued at the time it said: "The group recognises that everyone is at risk of being affected by this pandemic, but that a pandemic doesn’t hit everyone equally.

"That’s why we’re concerned to ensure there is sufficient support for the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, during the outbreak.

"All volunteers are kind, community-minded individuals who want to help out their neighbours at this time of crisis."

The group closed in last month as restrictions eased and demand for its services started to dwindle.

The outcome of New Milton's Citizen of the Year award was announced at the council's annual meeting, which was held online.

A town council spokesman said: "The worthy winner was Hannah Awesome, in recognition of her outstanding contribution in rallying the community to respond to those in need during the pandemic.

"Hannah set up the support group in March 2020, signing up 250 kindly neighbours. They provided volunteer help to over local 400 residents in need of assistance.

"The mayor thanked the whole community for their resilience and positive attitude during the last year."

The spokesman saluted the "many unsung heroes in our town who went above and beyond the call of duty for the greater good".