Nominations open for Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero Awards

Steven Jardine and Grant Stott present an award. Picture: TSPL

Steven Jardine and Grant Stott present an award. Picture: TSPL

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THEY are the Capital’s unsung heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty everyday without the recognition they deserve.

Some spend their free time volunteering in the community, many have given up work to care for loved ones and others save lives in the emergency services.

But one thing all of these heroes have in common is that they’ve proved ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

The time has come once again for Evening News readers to nominate individuals they believe work tirelessly behind the scenes and deserve recognition at our Local Hero Awards.

The glittering event will take place on Friday May 12 at the Assembly Rooms on George Street, and will be hosted by Forth One star, Arlene Stuart, for the first time.

Euan McGrory, deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, said: “We are looking forward to being inundated with nominations for the Local Hero Awards and reading their stories.

“There are numerous reasons why we should all be proud to live in and around Edinburgh.

“But the most important one of all is the incredible people who live and work here and who make it one of the greatest cities on the planet.

“The city is full of heroes in all walks of life who go above and beyond for little or no recognition.

“This is the time to celebrate them. Get nominating!”

Arlene Stuart added: “It is such an honour to be hosting the Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero Awards.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the people that have gone above and beyond in the community.

“I’m really looking forward to handing out the awards and seeing the smile on peoples faces.

“It will be a great night.”

Around 300 people will gather to watch the lucky winners accept their awards from 13 different categories.

The Evening News is determined to show residents of the Capital and the Lothians that their bravery and hard work has not gone unnoticed and is asking readers, who have seen their work first hand, to share their unique stories and tell us why they deserve to win.

As always, the highlight of the night will be the overall Local Hero Award, which was won last year by courageous Dean Reilly for his fundraising efforts for Multiple Sclerosis.

The dad-of-three, from Newcraighall, was diagnosed with the condition five years ago but promised himself he would never let MS get in the way of his life – and has since participated in a number of gruelling challenges, including the London Marathon.

Today, he said: “I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I won the award, it is something I will never forget and something I still remain proud of.

“When they announced me as the overall Local Hero, it made everything worthwhile, all the blisters I got from the challenges.”

He added: “After being recognised locally, I went on to win one of Lorraine Kelly’s Hero awards on ITV which I had no idea about.

“They just turned up at my house with a camera one day.”

Our categories this year include the Bravery Award, 999 Hero, Community Champion, Teacher of the Year, Health Champion, Carer of the Year, Sporting Achievement, Contribution to Local Sport, Fundraiser or Volunteer of the Year, Neighbour of the Year, School of the Year, Child of the Year and Local Hero Award 2017.

The Evening News is also looking forward to welcoming a number of acts to entertain the audience at the event including X-Factor star Caitlyn Vanbeck and the Edinburgh Dance Academy.

Caitlyn, 19, from Tranent, East Lothian, was a hit on the television talent show after she wowed the judges at her first audition in Edinburgh.

Caitlyn said: “I’m so overwhelmed to be asked to sing at such a special event.

“The support I’ve had over the past year from the community has been amazing so I’m looking forward to being able to give something back.

“I’m really excited to meet all of the inpsiring people at the event and celebrate their outstanding work.”

Tony Kenmuir of Central Taxis, Partner of Local Hero Awards since 2014, said: “The staff of Central Taxis have supported the The Local Hero Awards since its inception. By recognising the contribution of groups and individuals across the city who selflessly improve the lives of others around them; these awards promote a unique sense of community.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk