Local Hero Awards: time to nominate Community Champions

THEY work tirelessly making their communities a better place for others, litter picking for hours on end in the streets and using any spare time they have to create social groups for those in need.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 10:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 10:40 am
Last year's Community Champions Thomas Lynch and David Marshall of Dads Rock. Picture: Greg Macvean

They are the city’s unsung Community Champions who exist in every neighbourhood and are an inspiration to others, but their efforts are often under-represented for all the fantastic work they do.

But now is your chance to give them the recognition they deserve, by nominating them for this year’s Community Champion accolade at the Local Hero Awards 2016.

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in your community to make a difference, all you have to do is write a short paragraph explaining why they deserve the award and they could be in with a chance of winning the top gong.

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A spokeswoman for Central Taxis, which is sponsoring the Community Champion Category this year, said: “We are proud to be locally owned and servicing our local community.

“We were keen to honour Edinburgh’s local heroes and give them the recognition they deserve.

“The community champion award appealed to us because, while Edinburgh is a big city, it feels like a small town and that’s largely because of the incredible people who live in it.

“We meet these people every day and work with people from all walks of life from the bankers and businesspeople, to kids on their way to school and the elderly folk who rely on us for their independence.

“Those individuals who go the extra mile for their community deserve singling out for their tremendous efforts.”

If the Community Champion you nominate is shortlisted, they will be asked to attend a glittering ceremony on Friday, May 27 at the Assembly Rooms in George Street – where they will be joined by the nominees of other categories, to see the winners named.

The Evening News is determined to show residents of the Capital and the Lothians that their 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.

Last year, David Marshall and Thomas Lynch, the co-founders of Dads Rock, won the Community Champion Award after they set up a network of free playgroups for male carers and children in Edinburgh, before expanding their services to Glasgow.

In 2013, the pair also founded Dads Rock Academy (DRA), a social enterprise that offers weekly low-cost rock band tuition for parents and children. It is open to children and young people aged 7-16 years.

City council leader, Andrew Burns, said: “The council is delighted to support the inspirational Local Hero Awards again this year.

“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 honour the talented and the brave and recognise their incredible contribution.”