Over 20 members of staff and volunteers at The Christie have been recognised for collectively dedicating more than 470 years to the specialist cancer centre.

The Christie's annual long service awards ceremony was held to thank those who have had 10, 20 or 30 years continuous service. Emmerdale actor, Mark Charnock, who has played long-standing character Marlon Dingle for nearly 20 years, was on hand to present the winners with their awards.

Mark said: "I was honoured to be asked to present the Long Service Awards at The Christie. The Christie has a fantastic reputation across the North West for providing cancer patients with the best care and treatment possible. And a large part of this is down to the wonderful staff who have dedicated years of service to the organisation. It was a privilege to meet these dedicated and loyal people."

Some of those recognised at the ceremony included domestic supervisor Kath Donnelly who is the longest serving member of staff in the domestics' team. Kath joined The Christie initially as a stop gap and is now celebrating 40 years of service.

She said; "I worked at St Marys and St Cuthbert's School before starting at The Christie when it was then known as The Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute. The Christie has changed so much since then.

"I really love working here, it's a fantastic organisation and I feel privileged to have worked here for so many years. I'm also a massive fan of the soaps and watch all of them so I'm over the moon Mark is here to present me with my award."

Also praised for her 20 years of service at the event was Sharon Foy who has dedicated her career to breast cancer care, initially working on the wards with patients and then moving onto a research post. Sharon has worked on a number of important breast cancer initiatives to help patients, in particular leading on a Manchester referral pathway to ensure speedy fertility treatment for young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sharon is now the manager of the Macmillan breast clinical nurse specialist team and is also a part time lecturer at Manchester University.

She said: "The Christie really invests in its staff and I have worked with so many great people over the years. I've loved nursing patients as well as working in research and education, through which I can contribute to future care."

A number of Christie volunteers also received awards the event for continually going above and beyond and for providing an invaluable service across the organisation.

Around 350 volunteers currently help at The Christie doing a range of jobs including giving out library books on the wards, escorting patients and visitors to different departments and serving refreshments.

Volunteer Janet Power from Denton in Manchester received an award for providing over 10 years' service. The former new homes salesperson became a volunteer as a way of thanking The Christie after she was treated here as a patient in 1992 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

She said: "I work in The Christie's May Draper tea bar and I really enjoy it. It gives me a chance to speak to patients and provide them with much needed refreshments. I even did a parachute jump for The Christie. It's such a wonderful organisation I do anything I can to help."

Chief Executive at The Christie, Roger Spencer, said: "It makes us very proud to recognise the long-standing support and hard work of so many of our staff and volunteers. That level of continuity is vital in helping us progress our services and our patients benefit massively from their dedication. They all thoroughly deserve this recognition."