A former primary school teacher who helps lonely people by cooking them a warm meal is our community hero this week.

Margaret Hudson, 87, from Watford, co-runs the weekly lunch club at St Luke's Church every Friday.

After she retired from teaching in 1996, she started driving people who lived on their own to the club.

She now buys the food for the club every Thursday and spends her Friday mornings cooking warm meals for the elderly and those who might be lonely.

On an average Friday, she makes hot meals for 24 people.

She said: "It is the highlight of their week for many of them. They look forward to coming out and seeing everyone.

"A lot of them do not get out during the week until Friday. Just by talking to them you can see it's so important."

She said the Friday club offers the chance for members to socialise with others and to have a hot meal, which they might not usually have during the week.

The club also brings in musicians from the community and arranges quizzes.

She said: "We try to make meals they like with fresh vegetables. A lot of them have microwave dinners and may not cook for themselves."

Mrs Hudson also volunteers at League of Friends tea room at Watford General Hospital.

She said she was asked to volunteer after she retired as the group was desperate for help.

Money made from the tea room is put together to help the hospital buy equipment.

Mrs Hudson said the tea room also offers a place where families and friends come and talk.

She said: "I enjoy volunteering there, it's great fun and the public really appreciate us being there.

"It's just a case really where some people come in and want to talk to you and others don't.

"There are those who come to the hospital quite recently and are under stress and those who tell you good news. But we don't question people."

When told she won our community award, Ms Hudson said: "When I was told it was quite a surprise.

"There must be dozens and dozens of people in Watford who do things like me but in a different way."