Local Hero Awards: Winners to be announced at ceremony

Bryan Finlay. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Bryan Finlay. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Excitement is building with a week to go until our Local Heroes are announced at a glitzy awards ceremony.

Winners will be announced across 13 categories, including Inspirational Young Adult, Carer of the Year and the Bravery Award.

Martin Graham. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Martin Graham. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The exceptional individual who stands out above all the rest will receive the ultimate accolade, the Local Hero Award itself.

In attendance will be panel of judges including Frank O’Donnell, managing editor of the Evening News.

He said: “The standard of entries in this year’s Local Hero have been truly outstanding, which has made picking the winners a real challenge for the judges.

“We have thought long and hard about who should win in each category but we are all agreed that every single one of the nominees is a winner.

“Many have triumphed over personal adversity or have inspired others to keep going through tough times, even when they were struggling themselves.

“Some have dealt with illness with quiet courage, while others have carried out acts of selfless bravery.

“The time is approaching to celebrate their achievements and show them that their achievements have not gone unnoticed, that they make a difference and that they have touched all of us.”

Among those shortlisted for an award is Jak Trueman, who is nominated in the Inspirational Young Adult category.

The 15-year-old dedicated the last weeks of his short life to fundraising for charity as he battled a rare form of blood cancer.

Nominated for a Bravery Award is Martin Graham, hailed a “real-life superhero” after rescuing two drowning boys.

Gordon Aikman, has been nominated in the Fundraiser or Volunteer of the Year Category. The 30-year-old from Lochend has motor neurone disease but is fighting back with a campaign and his fundraising total currently stands at more than £250,000.

About 300 guests are expected at the Assembly Rooms in George Street for the event next Friday.

City leader Andrew Burns said the council was “delighted” to support the Local Hero Awards for a second year.

He added: “I can think of no finer venue than the Assembly Rooms. Last year’s event was a huge success and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

He added: “Edinburgh wouldn’t be the city it is without its army of volunteers and other unsung heroes who work tirelessly to support those less fortunate than themselves. This is our opportunity to recognise their incredible contribution.”