THEY are the everyday heroes who have shown exceptional courage to overcome the odds and make life-changing personal sacrifices to tend to the needs of others.
Their exceptional courage in dealing with the challenges put before them and outstanding dedication to improving the lives of those in their local community has made them a vital and inspirational part of daily life in the Capital.
The Evening News local hero awards are open for nominations and we are encouraging readers to honour those the unsung heroes who have made a difference in their area over the past 12 months.
This week, we are seeking nominations in the Carer of the Year and Bravery Award categories ahead of the ceremony in June.
The glittering event will take place at the Assembly Rooms on George Street, where hundreds will gather to watch the capital’s most worthy residents receive their awards.
Last year, Iona Imrie, 21, won the carer award for her work in caring for her quadriplegic older brother after he contracted an E.coli infection in 1995.
She later helped to care for her father when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, all while juggling her university studies.
Iona, from North Berwick, said the award “meant a huge amount” to those nominated.
She said: “There isn’t really any other award that recognises just how hard carers work and the incredible things that they do on a daily basis out there, so to win the award for me was just fantastic.
“But I think what is more important is that the work that carers do is finally being noticed. I know a lot of carers feel that the work they do often goes without recognition.”
Iona added: “In a way, it is not the award itself that is important, but what it stands for in honouring those people who make a difference to the lives of others.”
Hundreds of readers have already submitted their nominations for the 13 awards.
Jodie Craig, who won the bravery award in 2017, described her nomination as “overwhelming” and encouraged readers to get their nominations in ahead of the deadline on May 9.
The 23-year-old, who won for her courage in living with the rare Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, said: “It was amazing to have so much awareness raised for my condition and to have people show their appreciation for the work I do. I was ecstatic for days.”
“It took my breath away when I won and meeting up with the rest of the nominees and winners was an incredible experience.
“It is the most heartfelt thing to do. If you have someone in mind this is absolutely the best way to show your appreciation. I am unable to compare it to anything else I have experienced.”