Volunteers who have given up hundreds of hours of their free time between them to help visitors at Chiswick House & Gardens have been honoured for their dedication.

The trio of volunteer wardens at the listed-building and its grounds received one of three coveted 'outstanding heroes' accolades at last night's Hounslow Community Safety Heroes awards ceremony .

For the past two years Dee Reader, Barbara Korarska and Andrea Williams have given up between two and six hours a week, and sometimes many more in the summer, to help out at the venue.

Working in all weathers, they have patrolled the gardens, handling hazards from dangerous dogs to antisocial behaviour.

Ms Reader, who lives in Hammersmith, just over the border from Chiswick and also helps out at the 20th Chiswick Scouts Group, said it was a pleasure to be involved at Chiswick House.

"We enjoy helping people because we all love the park and it's a great opportunity to meet people and make friends," she said.

"I've been going to the park since 1945 and I remember the first cafe going up and coming down. Everything's much nicer in there now than it was, especially the Italian gardens and the conservatory, which had become quite run-down."

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Each volunteer warden receives eight months of training to prepare them for all eventualities, receiving the same SIA (Security Industry Authority) qualification required by professional security officers.

Brendon Walsh, Hounslow Council's director of regeneration, who presented the volunteers with their prize, said: "The park has been recognised two years running, winning gold in the Mayor of London Awards. Their contributions have gone a long way in helping to secure those awards.

"The volunteers make a real difference to the park users and have significantly improved safety in the area, enhancing the experience of all visitors to the park."

* Chiswick House & Gardens Trust is looking for more volunteer wardens. For more information, and to apply, please email louise.randall@chgt.org.uk