DARWEN’S “local heroes” were honoured during the Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday.

They were nominated for their contribution to the local community.

The idea came from Darwen Shop and Business Association.

Taking gold was Florentin Boudjecko for his work at Darwen Community Centre.

Silver went to 12-year-old Caitlin Jones who has raised funds for cancer charities since her father died of the disease last year.

Bronze went to to Chris Stephenson, a volunteer who has given his time to the people of Darwen for more than 20 years.

Runner-up awards went to Mel Hargreaves and Tracy Gilbertson who arranged out of school holiday activities for children, and Audrey Mitchell who fundraises for local charities and does community work.

Marc Standen, an inspirational local school teacher was also a runner-up in recognition of his efforts returning to work so soon after a stroke.

Blackburn with Darwen Mayor Coun Mohammed Khan and with Darwen’s paralympic silver medal winner Felicity Coulthard presented prizes.