WITNEY MP Robert Courts hailed the tireless work of volunteers across West Oxfordshire after spending a week in their shoes.

Mr Courts devoted more than 13 hours to helping out at organisations across his constituency during his second annual volunteering week.

Over the course of five days, the MP spent time volunteering at a range of local groups, including Wild Oxfordshire, Sunshine Cat Rescue and Witney Besom.

His activities included cooking on a campfire, planting flowers and sorting baby clothes, and Mr Courts paid tribute to the groups who give their time to others every day.

He said: “I really enjoyed the chance to quite literally roll up my sleeves and get stuck in volunteering this past week with a whole range of charities and community groups.

“After the success of last year’s volunteering week, I wanted to use my time away from Parliament to draw attention to more of the excellent local groups and projects we have in our area.”

The MP's week began at Breach Wood in Hailey, near Witney, where Robert joined conservationists from Wild Oxfordshire and the Wychwood Project.

Mr Courts then visited Sunshine Cat Rescue in Milton-under-Wychwood, which rehomes rescue cats from across Oxfordshire, but his next stop was a little further out of his comfort zone.

As part of a morning at Guideposts Trust's forest school at the Hilltop Garden Centre, the MP sat down with service users to make nature mobiles and cook stick bread on the campfire.

Mr Courts spent the rest of the day at Bridewell Organic Gardens near Wilcote, volunteering in a scheme that gives adults the opportunity to take part in social and therapeutic horticulture.

On Wednesday, the MP travelled to Chipping Norton to visit the town's branch of national pet charity Blue Cross.

After ending the week volunteering in the storeroom at Witney Besom, a charity that aids people from the town and beyond, he urged others to help out in their communities.

Mr Courts said: “No matter how busy we are, we can all afford to give up a small amount of our time to give back to the communities that make our area so special.

"I want to thank everyone who took the time to let me join in with their groups this week – and I'm excited to meet many more next year.”