Edinburgh Local Hero Awards 2023: Unsung heroes recognised at ceremony at Sheraton Grand Hotel
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Hundreds gathered at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa on Wednesday, December 6, to celebrate individuals and groups who had been nominated across 13 award categories, all of which seek to recognise unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make positive changes in the community.
The event, held by the Evening News in partnership with Edinburgh Zoo, was hosted by Edge Radio presenter Mark Martin. Guests enjoyed a three course meal before being treated throughout the night to stunning performances by the Edinburgh Dance Academy and The Phoenix Choir.
A raffle was also held which saw various great prizes - including a podcast session, signed Hearts shirt and beer tasting experience - up for grabs. The raffle raised an amazing £1,252 and all money raised went to the event’s charity partner Maggie’s Edinburgh, which helps people whose lives have been affected by a cancer diagnosis.
Opening the ceremony, Rhoda Morrison, Evening News editor, said: “This year’s awards are particularly special as, not only is this the 10th Local Hero Awards, but it also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Edinburgh Evening News.
“Tonight you will hear remarkable stories from individuals and groups in our community - from volunteers, schools and fundraisers who go the extra mile to make a positive change in their communities, to parents, neighbours and carers who make a profound difference to the lives of those closest to them.
“And I know it’s a cliche, but everyone here tonight is a winner. Each of you has been nominated by someone who has felt the impact of what you do everyday and I know the judges were faced with an almost impossible task of whittling down the nominations to choose tonight’s winners.”
The evening saw winners announced across various award categories, including Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Forth One, Music and Arts Award, sponsored by Edinburgh Playhouse, Sustainable School, sponsored by EON, Inspirational Young Adult, sponsored by Lothian Buses, and Carer of the Year, sponsored by Gibson Kerr.
Other awards given out on the night included the Community Champion Award, sponsored by CityFibre, Fundraiser of the Year, sponsored by Edge Radio, and the Nature Award, sponsored by headline sponsors Edinburgh Zoo.
The Junior Local Hero Award was won by Jack Tait, who was nominated for his fundraiser work for a charity close to his heart and the bravery he has shown while undergoing invasive treatments.
The final award announced on the night was the Edinburgh Local Hero Award, sponsored by Edinburgh Zoo, which was won by Kevin Brown. Kevin, who told guests at the ceremony that he had been inspired to get involved in youth work after benefitting from the service himself, was left speechless when his name was announced.
Full list of winners
Junior Local Hero Award – Jack Tait ; Sustainable School – Carrick Knowe Primary School ; Inspirational Young Adult – Samantha-Louise Gough ; Bravery Award – Stuart Haigh and Michelle Fleming ; Volunteer of the Year – Julie McLennan, highly commended – Lea White ; Carer of the Year – Kirtan Singh ; Community Champion – Leanne Reid, highly commended – Karen Soar ; Fundraiser of the Year – Holly Giles ; Nature Award – Carrick Knowe Primary School ; Sporting Hero – Rachael McIntosh ; Music and Arts Award – Cutting Edge Theatre ; Parent or Guardian – Renee Bald ; Neighbour of the Year – David Rowe ; Teacher of the Year – Laura Thompson ; Edinburgh Local Hero – Kevin Brown