THEY are the inspirational people who have worked tirelessly in the background to help others in their community without the recognition they richly deserve.
Whether it was giving up their free time to volunteer in their local area, sacrificing their career to care for a family member or a neighbour who went above and beyond to help someone in need, these unsung heroes are bound by their extraordinary dedication.
But now, the Evening News is set to honour those who so often go unrecognised for their outstanding work in the local community.
We are encouraging readers to nominate their Local Heroes in one of 13 categories ahead of the glittering ceremony in June.
The awards, sponsored by Farmer Autocare, aim to shine a light on Capital and Lothians residents whose bravery and hard work has gone unnoticed.
We want readers who have seen their work first hand to share their unique stories and tell us why they deserve to win, with nominees on the shortlist going on to the ceremony at the Assembly Rooms on Friday, June 15 – hosted by Forth One star Arlene Stuart.
Euan McGrory, deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, said: “There are unsung heroes right across Edinburgh and the Lothians who go out of their way each and every day to make life better for others. They don’t do it for the acclaim and recognition, they do it because they know what a difference their efforts can make.”
“The Local Hero Awards are a way of saying thank you to those special people – many of whom do not know just how special they really are.”
He added: “I hope that you will join us in the search and help us to identify and celebrate the ‘everyday heroes’ that make Edinburgh and the Lothians such a great place to live.”
As always, the highlight of the night will be the overall Local Hero Award, which was won last year by Olympic cycling champion Callum Skinner.
The former James Gillespie’s High pupil won gold in the track cycling team sprint and silver in the individual sprint at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.
However, other categories include awards for Carer of the Year, Community Champion, Teacher of the Year, Health Champion, Neighbour of the Year and Parent or Guardian of the Year.
Iona Imrie, who scooped the prize for carer of the year at last year’s ceremony, recalled a “fantastic” night and encouraged readers to honour their heroes with a nomination.
Iona, 21, added: “For carers, they play such a big part in society without being recognised, so much of their work goes uncredited, but hopefully even just seeing someone win an award for what they do is enough to inspire them.”
“If any readers have someone they think is worthy of an award, in any of the categories, just nominate them. If you believe they deserve that award, the chances are, somebody else does too and it is just a fantastic way to honour their work.”
Other awards given out on the night include Inspirational Young Adult, Fundraiser of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Child of Achievement, Sporting Hero Award and the Bravery Award.
2017 Community champion Scott Glynn said: “It was just a really humbling experience to be surrounded by so many other award winners and nominees who all deserved to be there for the work they had done in their communities.”
“Even just nominating someone, regardless of whether they win or not, is a great acknowledgement of their achievements and it shows they are doing something right.”
The easiest way to nominate someone is to visit www.localheroesedin.co.uk, but if you would prefer to enter by post, please send your entry to The Local Hero Awards, Edinburgh Evening News, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2HS.
The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, May 9.