A man who set up a community group in the Colne Valley has won a national award.

Malc Coton won a British Citizen Award for Services to the Community for his work setting up and running Pride In Linthwaite, receiving his accolade at the Palace of Westminster in London.

The British Citizen Award was set up in 2015 to recognise the exceptional people who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on their communities and society. Its seen as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary people.

Pride In Linthwaite, which started with just 28 members six years ago and now has 200, is involved in loads of community work including litter picking, planting flowers, installing litter bins, tackling dog fouling, clearing pathways, organising community events, youth engagement, liaising with planners and developers, painting railings, removing graffiti and putting up the Christmas lights.

It all began when Malc was out dog walking with his pet, Nessie, when he noticed lots of litter so started to pick it up.

When he stopped to talk to other dog walkers Malc realised others were doing the same so he organised a meeting and the group was first formed.

They immediately branched out from picking up litter to filling planters, troughs and hanging baskets with flowers.

Malc, 48, created the Leadboilers Festival based on local folklore which features music, arts, sports, games, pastimes, children’s and youth activities, crafts, and pets. The festival is held in Linthwaite one weekend every summer.

Pride In Linthwaite also provides lots of social events to reduce isolation and loneliness including walks, picnics, barbecues and curry nights.

Malc, who is the group’s founder, director, secretary and committee member, said: “I could not have done this without all the people who have made it possible, along with the businesses and individuals who have supported and sponsored us.

“With an organisation like this the old saying that the sum is greater than the parts is certainly true and it can never be down to just one person. Different people have different ideas and a mass of people are needed to deliver a range of projects like we do.”

Malc is married to Kath and the couple have two children, 21-year-old Caitlin and Callum, 18.

Malc was nominated by Pride in Linthwaite director Liz Quinn, who said: “What started almost accidentally has grown to become a group collaboration which now cares both for the local environment and local residents.”

For more about Pride In Linthwaite go to its website https://prideinlinthwaite.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PrideInLinthwaite

Pride in Linthwaite committee member James Carter has also received an award for his work in the community. Read more about that below.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.