A SALVATION Army worker has been handed a special award for her efforts to help vulnerable people.

Tracy Cooke, from Clacton, was commended at the Salvation Army’s Social Services Awards, held in Derbyshire.

The award recognises officers who have made an exceptional contribution to the church and charity’s work helping vulnerable people.

She began working part-time at the Clacton Citadel as the community centre co-ordinator and has been involved with running its soup kitchen for the homeless at a time when the numbers using it have massively increased.

She also helped open a charity shop in the town, which has been so successful that it could now be expanded.

Salvation Army spokesman Beverley Egan said: “Tracy has shown her commitment to homeless people and those who are most vulnerable in the community of Clacton, where she runs the community centre with the church.

“Her work is tireless and she very calm and very helpful. Tracy always has a pleasant smile - she's a fantastic person.’