OXFORDSHIRE’S unsung heroes will be honoured at a ceremony celebrating the work of community groups tonight.

The Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards will crown winners in a host of categories during a glitzy, invitation-only event at Oxford Town Hall.

Non-profit and community groups, volunteers and dignitaries will gather for the ninth annual ceremony, run by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA).

Kathy Shaw, OCVA’s chief executive officer said: “The ceremony has grown every year and become a high-profile and valued event with a growing number of nominations received each year for categories including Young Volunteer of the Year, Best New Group and the Environmental Award.

“This year we have added new categories which are supported by our district local authorities.”

Other categories include Individual Volunteer, Innovation, Lifetime Achievement, Management of Volunteers, Working Together, Charity of the Year and Best Group, in various districts.

Entries for the awards have been judged and winners will be announced in front of hundreds of guests, from just after 5.30pm.

Previous winners have included Oxford's Pegasus Theatre, which runs drama classes for youngsters, and Oxford Food Bank.

A performance by National Citizen Service graduates Georgina Osibodu and Emilia Chick will open the event, before Richard Venables, the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, presents individual awards.

Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson OBE will then present category awards, before members of One-Eighty, the 2017 Oxfordshire Charity of the Year, give a talk on what the award has meant for them.

ARCh (Assisted Reading for Children), ArkT Centre Clear and Sky Children’s Charity are shortlisted for the accolade this year.

Many of the awards are sponsored by local groups, including the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxfordshire County Council.

Kiera Bentle, the OCVA chairman who will close the ceremony, added: “This is recognition of the importance of celebrating the vital community work nominated by local people for recognition.”

The event comes during National Volunteering Week - a nationwide event running from June 1 - 7. Tomorrow, the focus is on volunteering in sport and physical activities.