A firefighter, a former newspaper editor and people working in social services were among the six people named recipients of the Hastings Civic Awards at a presentation on Monday.
The awards recognise an individual, group or organisation which has contributed significantly to Hastings district. In 2012 seven individuals and one group were presented with civic awards for their outstanding work in the community.
Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said volunteers were at the heart of the community, dedicating time and energy to help make Hastings a better place to live.
"Tonight we honour six outstanding individuals, who have all given many years of voluntary service to the community.
"The role of the volunteer is becoming more crucial to the wellbeing of our residents as each year passes.
"As volunteers, you are creating a positive change on many fronts, community health care, sports and recreation, heritage and the arts, environmental protection, disaster relief and volunteer fire fighting, the list is endless."
Mr Yule said the level of dedication shown by volunteers from around the district was gratifying and a tribute to the public spirit.
"It is pleasing that a large number of nominations have been received for people from many different walks of life. We are extremely grateful to the nominators who have taken the time to put pen to paper, and highlighted the amazing work that these people are doing for the community."
The council's chairman of the civic honours awards judging panel, Kevin Watkins, said the awards were a chance to recognise the work of those volunteers who gave many hundreds of hours to the community every year.
"Volunteers are playing an increasingly important role in ensuring a large variety of services are maintained in Hastings. They are the backbone of our society and so many organisations would fail if it was not for the dedication and commitment of their volunteers."