The Alton Society’s Outstanding Services to Alton Award 2022 has been given to former Alton Herald reporter Moira Baker.

This award is given to those who work hard to make a difference in Alton through work, voluntary activity or both.

A panel of society members, former winners and the public picks a winner from those nominated.

Moira was called Moira Howells at the Herald.

Her citation read: “As Moira Howells she headed the Alton office of the Herald newspaper until its closure, using her first-class journalistic skills to report Alton’s affairs tirelessly and lucidly, sometimes having to resist pressure to back down on her forthright reporting.

“She provided an accessible and receptive ear for the concerns of local people. She maintained the profile and vigour of the Alton edition, concentrating on Alton’s affairs. She is much missed in this role.

“As Moira Baker she was the first woman to serve as Alton Lions president. She became president again in July.

“As a prominent Lion she is a familiar presence, working long hours in all weathers in support of local events such as the classic car show and the local litter picks with her Lions team.

“At the beginning of Covid she helped set up the Alton and District Resilience Fund, co-ordinating many local groups to help people adversely affected by the pandemic.

“Fellow Lions report she is full of ideas and is an inspiration, for example by organising laptops for children during Covid and now for Ukrainian refugees. She is a well-deserved winner of this year’s award.”

It will be presented at the society’s 50th birthday AGM on November 19.