Some of us are always going to do volunteer work.

We may have done a bit in the past, tried a few groups and causes here and there but never really got stuck in.

And then there are those who do. And usually do and do a bit more, as the saying goes - if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.

Those people were honoured on Monday night with the Trustpower Energy Direct Whanganui District Community Awards. It's an acknowledgement of their work, and just as importantly it's money for their charity.

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Supreme winners were Friends of Wanganui Opera House.

The citation read: "This passionate group of volunteers live and breathe the Wanganui Opera House.

With a 'die-in-a-ditch' mentality, they have previously rescued this heritage building from demolition and they are the reason why and how this beautiful establishment is available to everyone."

The "Friends" count 112 volunteers and 1000 members. They are ushers, doormen, sweet stall and bar staff and backstage crew who keep the magnificent old girl running. She was once on life support but is ticking over a lot better now.

From a large group to a single winner - the Youth Community Spirit Award went to student Renee Harrison: Wanganui Girls' College head girl, youth councillor, anti-bullying campaigner and accredited netball umpire, to name just a few roles.

At the awards, Renee, in turn, honoured those who help the helpers. In her case it was her parents who she said had been her taxi drivers - their support "melted" her heart.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you from the community.

But perhaps the biggest award of the night was the number of groups and organisations nominated.

There were 98 - it's what keeps the region pumping.