AN enthusiastic volunteer has donated more than 500 hours of his time to the local community, despite being only 16.

Tom Albiston, from Windmill Hill, Runcorn, helps out at Victoria Park, has volunteered at a local primary school and supports children with autism.

He said: “I like to keep busy and can’t sit at home doing nothing because I just get bored.

“It has helped me to build up my confidence and I enjoy helping other people.”

Tom hopes to become a nursery school teacher and is studying health and social Care at Priestley College in Warrington.

He was recently named one of the college’s ‘Superstars’ for his outstanding contribution to the community.

Tom volunteers with the Just Chill group at Victoria Park in Widnes, where he has decorated old wheelbarrows, now on display in the glasshouses. The group meets regularly to maintain the park for visitors.

Tom, a keen footballer, is working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

He volunteered for a month as a classroom assistant at St Berteline’s School in Windmill Hill.

He said: “I realised I wanted to work with pre-school children as I was going through high school. I’ve got younger cousins and I think that has geared me towards this.”

Halton Autistic Family Support Group also benefits from Tom’s time. His older brother has autism and Tom has been helping at the centre for a couple of years.

Tom said: “I speak to autistic children and other people to get their feelings about the group and to see if anything can be improved from the children’s point of view.”

Priestley tutor Sarah Jones said: “Tom is such a lovely student and the amount of time he has already given to the community is incredible.

“We are supporting him as much as we can because he is putting so much effort into helping others.”