SIX charities from across North Yorkshire including a Foodshare group and a Riding for the Disabled Association have been recognised in the queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

The awards come ahead of the Queen’s official birthday and are made through the Lord Lieutenant. Mrs Jo Ropner who is her majesty's representative in the county and lives at Kirklington, near Bedale.

Applauding the groups receiving the awards she said: "I am delighted for the six charities recognised in these prestigious awards. It is a just reward to all the dedicated volunteers who go the extra mile to benefit the lives of others, and is a brilliant way to showcase the work they do."

The charities being presented are:

* Hambleton FoodShare, based in Northallerton with operations in Bedale and Thirsk has 74 volunteers who work to relieve poverty by raising money and collecting and distributing food to individuals, families and groups in crisis.

* Bedale Riding for the Disabled Association gives people aged from 11 to 40 with a range of disabilities the chance to experience the pleasure and joy of horse riding. It is run by 25 volunteers.

* Saltburn Beachwatch is run by 150 volunteers who carry out quarterly “beach cleans” on the seafront, collecting up to 350kg of rubbish at each clean. While undertaking their work the group coordinates with the environment agency and the Marine Conservation Society to gather environmental data. Saltburn Beachwatch say they are working to improve the habitat for wildlife and support the local economy through making the beach more attractive to holiday makers.

* Scuba Diving for All is the only scuba diving organisation in the UK that takes disabled people to scuba qualification level. It operates in Ripon Spa Baths with 30 volunteers ranging from ten to 78 years old.

*Clapham Community Shop Ltd in Craven District is run by 40 volunteers, selling groceries, essential requirements and coordinating community groups.

*Claro Enterprises provides employment and training for sufferers of severe mental illness. From workshops in Harrogate it makes wooden products for national and local businesses enabling people who often lead lonely and isolated lives to make friends and gain confidence.

A special presentation ceremony is being held at the Lord Lieutenant 's home at Camp Hill, Kirklington on September 26.