ALL too often the hard work, dedication and perseverance of some of Edinburgh’s citizens goes unnoticed – except by those who know them best.
From those working tirelessly for the good of others, to those striving to achieve personal goals they once thought impossible, few are given a chance to shine on a well-deserved public platform.
Today the Evening News is making sure these phenomenal figures get the credit they deserve as we launch The Pride of Edinburgh Awards to recognise – and pay tribute to – outstanding members of our community.
“There are everyday people in every community who go above and beyond, dedicating their own time and efforts to work selflessly to benefit the communities in which they live,” says Ross Millar, managing director of award sponsor Lidl in Scotland.
“It’s only right that we recognise and celebrate these unsung heroes. Lidl is proud to serve Edinburgh and we are delighted to be involved in The Pride of Edinburgh Awards.”
The awards will be held at the Assembly Rooms, on George Street, in a ceremony on May 16. In attendance will be a panel of judges, including Evening News editor Frank O’Donnell and representatives from supporting organisations: Lidl, Queen Margaret University, Lothian Buses, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh City Council, Central Taxis and Edinburgh Castle.
Winners will be announced over 12 categories, before the ultimate Pride of Edinburgh trophy is given to one person who stands out from all the rest.
Now it is down to you, the people who have either benefited from the generosity of others, been on the receiving end of impeccable professional care, or watched in the wings as a loved one has realised long-held dreams through sheer hard work and diligence, often in the face of adversity.
For them to be celebrated publicly you must share with us their stories and tell us why they deserve to win.
One of our award categories is Neighbour of the Year, recognising someone who has gone more than that extra mile to support those around them. Have you been helped by the support of someone in your neighbourhood who has seen you through both good and bad times?
Perhaps you would like to nominate someone for the Bravery Award. This category recognises an individual who has shown jaw-dropping courage, perhaps in the face of illness or in dealing with a traumatic experience in which many of us would simply have crumbled. True strength of character will most certainly be displayed by the winner of this category.
Also waiting for nominations is the Child of Achievement award, open to youngsters under the age of 13 who have already shown exceptional achievement in their short lives.
Do you know a child who has overcome great odds? Someone who has sacrificed so much of their childhood for the needs of someone else? Or perhaps your nominated Child of Achievement has been a pillar of support to a local cause or charity? Tell us their story and give them a chance to be celebrated.
We are also looking to hear tales of wonder for our 999 Hero, Community Champion, Teacher of the Year, Health Champion, Carer of the Year, Sporting Achievement, Contribution to Local Sport, Fundraiser/Volunteer of the Year and Student of the Year categories where figures from across the whole Edinburgh community, young and old, will have their achievements celebrated.
The ultimate award will be given in The Pride of Edinburgh category, chosen from nominations either for the previous groups, or for this one alone. The winner of this will truly stand out from the crowd as someone who deserves to have their efforts, achievements and unfaltering dedication recognised.
Says Lidl Scotland PR manager Alasdair Fowle: “We know from our employees, and the thousands of customers we welcome to our stores every week, that the communities of Edinburgh and the Lothians really are home to many inspirational people – of whom we can all be proud.”
How to nominate
THE Pride of Edinburgh awards are open to anyone who lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Winners will be announced on Friday, May 16, at the Assembly Rooms.
The easiest way to nominate someone for The Pride of Edinburgh Awards is by visiting www.prideofedinburgh.co.uk.
This dedicated website will allow you to choose which category you wish to enter, as well as allowing you to tell us all about your nominee.
If you prefer to enter by post, please send your entry to Edinburgh Evening News, The Pride of Edinburgh Awards, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS. Entries must include your name, address and telephone number.
Please make it clear which category you wish to enter your nominee for and explain why you think they deserve to win the award.
The closing date for entries is Monday, April 21.
For someone who has shown exceptional courage in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. The nominee may have shown courage in dealing with an illness or battling through a traumatic experience. They may have demonstrated an exceptional act of bravery. Judges would like to see strong evidence of this individual showing great character or fortitude in their life.
To recognise a member of the emergency services who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Someone who may have supported an individual and/or a family, or who has made a significant contribution to the community. The award not only recognises, encourages and rewards people who make a difference within their community but inspires others to do the same. The award will be made to an individual whose time, effort, support and aspirations have made a significant contribution within their community for the benefit of those who live there.
Teacher of the Year
To recognise a truly inspiring teacher or classroom assistant in primary, secondary, further or higher education. Someone who has made a significant difference to the learning experience of a student or a class.
(Sponsored by lidl)
Someone who has improved a person’s health and/or made an impact on the quality of life of an individual. They may work in the NHS or health care industry, providing a service above and beyond the call of duty, taking personal responsibility for a person’s wellbeing. They may be a champion for health and wellbeing issues, healthy lifestyles and exercise in the community.
Carer of the year
This person may be someone who has cared for a friend or family member who has made personal sacrifices in order to tend to the needs of others.
This award recognises individuals who have proved outstanding achievement in a specific sporting field. Not only does it recognise sporting skill but also recognises drive, ambition, and determination even through the face of adversity. The award will be made to an individual who demonstrates exceptional sporting talent and determination. The judges will assess the background history of the person, and the achievement he/she has made within sport and where applicable to personal challenges.
Contribution to Local Sport
This special award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and dedication to local sport and physical activity, over a number of years. A real unsung hero, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This could be a long standing volunteer, team coach or mentor.
Fundraiser or Volunteer of the Year
This award recognises individuals who, by their hard work and dedication, have made a difference to a charity or cause. The judges are looking for individuals who have demonstrated continued commitment to a charity or individual through fundraising support and successfully coordinated fundraising events, giving their own time and effort to help out a good cause.
Neighbour of the Year
(Sponsored by Edinburgh Castle)
This award recognises an individual who has gone the extra mile to be a good neighbour. The award is for someone who gives their time to someone who needs company or support and acts selflessly towards making a neighbour’s life more pleasant.
Student of the Year
(sponsored by Queen Margaret University)
This award recognises individuals who have achieved outstanding success in the education system who are aged 13 and over. The judges are looking for individuals who have achieved results that many thought previously unachievable. Someone who has surpassed all expectations through hard work and determination, who may have battled through adversity or illness to achieve great results.
Child of Achievement
(Sponsored by Lothian Buses Family Day Ticket)
We are looking for a child, under the age of 13, who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. The nominee may have excelled academically, achieved sporting success, raised money for a good cause, or been a great support to someone with an illness or battling a traumatic experience.
The Pride of Edinburgh Award
(Sponsored by Edinburgh Airport)
This is the highlight of the awards and will be given to an individual who the judging panel considers to be The Pride of Edinburgh. Judges will select them either from entries received for other categories or from nominations specifically for this category. The award will go to someone whom judges believe stands out above all other nominations. The Pride of Edinburgh Award will look to reward someone who has done something truly remarkable.
Our people are surely our greatest asset
By Frank O’Donnell, Editor
EDINBURGH is one of the world’s greatest cities. And you live here.
We are consistently ranked in the top five of the best cities in Europe and have been voted among the must-see destinations across the world.
That should feel good.
But why is it the best?
Is it the Castle? Princes Street Gardens? The Festival? Hogmanay? The pubs? Our great range of restaurants? Our proximity to the countryside? The Royal Mile? Arthur’s Seat? The Forth Bridge?
All of these play a part.
But Edinburgh is truly great because of its people and the contribution they make to life in the Lothians.
We can have great new modern schools, but what use are they without the best teachers?
What function does a new hospital serve without the best doctors?
In this year of the Commonwealth Games, we will witness many remarkable sporting feats. But before they were famous these men and women were inspired to take up sport by parents, teachers and volunteers at local sports clubs.
The Edinburgh Evening News reports on all aspects of life in the Lothians. We bring news of the latest overspending on trams, on crime waves, and on growing hospital waiting lists. Often that news that can
But we are also here to report on the good. To celebrate the real lives of the people that make the city pulse, that give it its colour and personality and humanity.
These awards aim to laud those individuals and put them in the spotlight. For they too can inspire like an extinct volcano or a medieval castle.
The Pride of Edinburgh Awards will recognise the brave children who have endured numerous operations at a young age. The fundraisers who help find vital cash for our hospitals. The firefighter who saves a life. The neighbour who stops to chat and puts a smile on our face.
We want your nominations for the outstanding individuals who are improving the lives of residents across the region.