Community Heroes Awards 2015
PUBLISHED: 21:53 06 October 2015 | UPDATED: 22:02 06 October 2015
Regular readers will already be familiar with Surrey Life's annual Community Heroes list. Well, this year, we have upped the ante by joining forces with our friends at BBC Surrey for their Community Heroes Awards - and now we're looking for your nominations…
From the people who volunteer at their local charity shop to those who go the extra mile to help animals and the individuals who have stepped up in an emergency, our county is full of inspirational people, doing some incredible things.
Every year, we celebrate these wonderful people, the very lifeblood of our county, in our Surrey Life Community Heroes list, printed in the magazine and also available to read online at surreylife.co.uk.
This year, however, we are going a step further and are delighted to be teaming up with our friends at BBC Surrey for their annual Community Heroes Awards.
Now in its fifth year, the idea of the awards is to recognise unsung heroes from across the county, with entries being sought in a variety of categories, designed to reflect everything from good neighbours to sporting achievement and much more.
“I’m delighted to see the return of our awards, and it’s hard to believe we are now into the fifth year of this very special event,” says assistant managing editor and presenter, Mark Carter, who launched the annual awards scheme back in 2011 and has overseen them ever since.
“Every time we start the search for new nominees, there is always a little question mark in my mind as to whether we’ve discovered all of the county’s unsung heroes, but trust me, we never have! I’m always amazed by both the quality and quantity of entries we receive each year across all the various categories.”
Last year’s winners included Detective Constable Kath Tinley, Robert Wood and Peter O’Driscoll from Surrey Police for the 999 Award. Operation Tendril was a complicated investigation and was launched after a 13-year-old boy was asked to send indecent images of himself across the internet. The nominees worked tirelessly to bring four men to justice, and their investigation resulted in identifying over 160 online child victims.
Winning the Young Achiever Award was teenager Luke Liddiard from Chertsey, who turned his life around after being given the opportunity to start his own company. Despite being homeless, Luke attended a carpentry workshop and established ‘The Goodwood Company’, making gifts out of reclaimed wood. He then went on to get his first full-time position, training with ASDA. Throughout, Luke has risen to every daunting challenge with maturity, wit and understanding.
Elsewhere, Amanda Jones from Camberley picked up an Outstanding Achievement award. Amanda lost her daughter Becs to breast cancer at the age of just 33. In the ten years since that tragic event, she has gone on to raise more than a quarter of a million pounds for the charity, Breakthrough. Her campaigning has even taken her to Downing Street.
The Good Citizen Award went to Nicola Dawes from Reigate, who had the vision to create a charitable organisation in East Surrey that has gone on to help more than 300 families. Stripey Stork collects pre-loved baby equipment. After ensuring it is safe and clean, it is then passed on to a new home, making a real difference to families in need.
“It’s a great pleasure to receive the support of Surrey Life magazine in the search for this year’s nominees,” adds Mark. “I know that everyone reading this article will know at least one person worthy of special recognition. We look forward to reading all about them.”
All those who make the shortlist will be invited to a special evening of celebration at the Gatwick Crowne Plaza Hotel in Crawley on Monday November 30. The overall winners in each category will also receive a specially engraved trophy.
The ceremony will be streamed live through a webcast online as well as being broadcast on BBC Surrey on Sunday December 6 at 3pm. And, of course, here in Surrey Life, we will be running all the pictures and featuring the winners’ stories.
• BBC Surrey broadcasts on 104/104.6FM, DAB Digital Radio and online.
Nominate your heroes
This year’s categories for the BBC Surrey Community Heroes Awards are as follows:
Young Achiever: Awarded to anyone who is aged 18 or under and has demonstrated maturity beyond their years
999: Presented to a member of either the emergency services or the armed forces for commitment to their profession
Sport: Awarded to an individual or group who has contributed to local sporting life, whether that’s through playing a sport or encouraging others to do so, such as through acting as a referee, official or coach
Good Neighbour: Awarded to an individual or an organisation that helps make the neighbourhood a better place in which to live or work, either on a regular basis or through a single act of kindness or courage
Fund-raiser: An individual or group who has gone the extra mile to raise funds for either a charity or good cause
Volunteer: Awarded to a person or group who gives up their time voluntarily to help out either a charity or good cause
Animal Welfare: An individual or group who goes out of their way to care for animals
What to do next...
To make a nomination, tell us who you would like to suggest and why (in no more than 250 words) remembering to include your name, address and contact number. Entries should then be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, they can be posted to: BBC Surrey, Broadcasting Centre, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7AP.
The deadline for suggestions is midnight on Friday October 9, 2015, and you can find all the terms and conditions on the BBC Surrey website at bbc.co.uk/bbcsurrey