A LIFE-LONG volunteer, a wounded veteran and a Neighbourhood Watch legend who have all dedicated their free time to protect the local community from scams have each received a prestigious award.

The trio were rewarded with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Brian Smith Hero Award.

One of the recipients, 88-year-old Geoffrey Boswell, uses experience he has gained from working as a Scam Marshall and Community Champion to help vulnerable and socially isolated people recover psychologically from being targeted by scammers.

Geoffrey is a carer for a relative who has been caught up in a scam and used this as motivation to run Friends Against Scams sessions as a SCAMchampion.

Likewise, fellow recipient Karen Holdsworth-Cannon was one of the first to be trained as a SCAMchampion.

Karen, a wounded veteran, has passed on her knowledge to thousands of community-based organisations and local business groups.

She also runs a radio show where she promotes scam awareness and the work of trading standards.

Geoff Pegg was the third recipient after working as Operations Director for High Wycombe Neighbourhood Watch.

In his time in the role, he has held almost 60 community events training residents to become Friends Against Scams alongside regularly featuring on the radio promoting scam awareness. Geoff also volunteers his time with Trading Standards as a SCAMchampion, working with care homes and local community groups.

The CTSI Hero Awards celebrate those who make outstanding contributions towards consumer protection in our communities. The CTSI Brian Smith Hero Award is named in honour of the late Brian Smith, a CTSI Lead Officer who died in 2017.

CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “The CTSI Brian Smith Hero Award gives us the chance to celebrate individuals in the community who make a real difference to people lives. The Buckinghamshire and Surrey SCAMchampions epitomise everything we’re looking for and I’m honoured to award Geoffrey, Karen and Geoff today.”

Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire County Council cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said: “Volunteers like Geoff, Geoffrey and Karen are worth their weight in gold. If it weren’t for their dedication and commitment to helping others in the fight against the scammers, our communities would be much the poorer. I applaud their success.”