THEY are the Capital’s unsung heroes, working tirelessly behind the scenes every day, often without the recognition they deserve.
Many play key roles in the community – working long hours with the emergency services to save people’s lives or helping children to reach their full potential.
Others voluntarily dedicate hours of their time to fundraising for charity, fighting for their community or making sacrifices to help others.
But all of them have one thing in common – they show that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
From today, Evening News readers are being invited to nominate individuals they believe have gone above and beyond their call of duty and who deserve recognition at our Local Hero Awards 2016.
Euan McGrory, deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, said: “There is no shortage of unsung heroes living in and around Edinburgh. In every area of life and in every community, there are people who go the extra mile day after day to help make Edinburgh and the Lothians the fantastic place it is.
“This is the chance to honour them.”
This year’s glittering awards ceremony will be held on Friday, May 27 in the Assembly Rooms on George Street, where around 300 people will gather to honour the lucky winners – who will be chosen from 14 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 Jak Trueman after his incredible story touched so many hearts.
Jak, from Mid Calder, was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphona in 2014, but made it his mission to raise as much money as he could for lymphoma research in the short time he had left.
Jak survived just ten days after he was told his condition was incurable and sadly passed away in February last year – at the age of just 15.
Jak’s mum, Allison Barr, praised the Local Hero Awards.
She said: “Winning the overall Local Hero Award last year was a massive honour and accolade for Jak. Although he never knew of this win, I know he would be beaming with pride.
“The Evening News has been a great supporter of Jak and his story and dreams to help other young cancer patients and their families, and I am certain there will be many worthy nominees this year.”
For the first time, Farmer Autocare is sponsoring the main event, and said it was “delighted” to be taking part.
Ron Hewitt, group managing director of the vehicle maintenance firm, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero Awards 2016.
“Edinburgh is a beautiful city, winning awards for its built environment and cultural festivals, attracting foreign investment and visitors from all over the world.
“We all know it’s a great place to do business, but what makes it really special for those of us who are fortunate enough to live and work in this city are those local unsung heroes – who often don’t get the recognition they deserve.
“They inspire us all to do better and we are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate their compassion, bravery and hard work.
“Farmer Autocare is a business that serves its community and that community is enriched by the presence of these true heroes and we are pleased to play our part in honouring them.”
Entrants can be nominated for various reasons – do you know someone who has inspired you to achieve your own goals?
Do you know someone who has battled through an illness or a traumatic experience, or carried out an exceptional act of bravery?
The 14 categories are listed on the right with descriptions explaining who could be eligible to be nominated in each.
The ultimate prize of the Local Hero Award will be selected from entries received via nominations from all the categories.
Other winners from last year included 16-year-old Joshua Hawick, who took home the accolade for the most Inspirational Young Adult, while nine-year-old Chantelle Cummings won Child of Achievement and Pilrig Park School was named School of the Year.
Radio Forth presenter Grant Stott will be the host of the evening’s events, which will consist of a programme of entertainment as well as the awards.
How to nominate your hero
The Local Hero awards are open to anyone who lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Winners will be announced on Friday, May 27 at the Assembly Rooms.
The easiest way to nominate someone is to visit www.localheroesedin.co.uk.
This dedicated website will allow you to choose which category you wish to enter, as well as allowing you to tell us about your nominee.
If you would prefer to enter by post, please send your entry to Edinburgh Evening News, The Local Hero Awards, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2HS.
Entry forms are available in today’s paper on page 10.
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 nominations is Wednesday, April 27.