Awards are launched to honour heroes who make a difference

Last year's Best of Northumberland winners.
Last year's Best of Northumberland winners.

The search is on to find and honour unsung heroes who do amazing things, as we launch the Best of Northumberland Awards 2015.

Readers are being encouraged to nominate individuals and groups in the county who go above and beyond the call of duty and/or show incredible strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Organised by Northeast Press – publishers of the Northumberland Gazette, Morpeth Herald, News Post Leader and Tweeddale Press’s Berwick Advertiser – the annual Best of Northumberland Awards are a celebration of bravery, determination, commitment and achievement.

We are looking for people who, in their everyday lives, have managed to do something extraordinary for the benefit of themselves and others.

The awards are split into 12 categories, recognising a cross-section of local heroes. Categories in this year’s event are Sporting Achievement; Community Group; Community Champion; Child of Courage; Emergency Services Award; Role Model; Green Champion; Child of Achievement; Fund-raiser of the Year; Good Neighbour; Volunteer of the Year; Lifetime Contribution.

A glittering ceremony will be staged at the Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, in Longhorsley, on Thursday, September 17, and the winners will be presented with their awards.

Northumberland Gazette editor Paul Larkin said: “We are delighted to be launching the Best of Northumberland awards once again.

“We are looking for people who have succeeded against all odds, think nothing of putting others before themselves and go the extra mile.”

The headline sponsor is The Banks Group, which is also sponsoring the Green Champion award.

Mark Dowdall, of The Banks Group, said: “As a company that has worked in the county for more than three decades and knows just how a special the communities of Northumberland are, we’re extremely pleased to have signed up as the main sponsor of the Best of Northumberland Awards this year.

“There will be countless untold stories of individuals and groups making a massive positive contribution.”

To make a nomination, visit The deadline is Tuesday, September 1.

Details of the categories

Sporting Achievement: Individuals who have proved outstanding achievement in a specific sporting field. Not only does it recognise sporting skill, but also recognises drive, ambition and determination, even through the face of adversity.

Community Group: The award will be made to a group whose time, effort, support and aspirations have improved an area for the benefit of those who live, work and play there.

Community Champion: An individual who may have been a good friend and who has supported you and/or family, or who you think has made a significant contribution to your community.

Child of Courage: A child who has shown exceptional courage in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty.

Emergency Services Award: Our emergency services go to work in the face of unknown dangers. Often they risk life and limb to keep us all safe, going way beyond the call of duty.

Role Model: Individuals whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.

Green Champion: This award recognises a person or group of people who actively work/live/promote green issues and green living to the benefit of the community.

Child of Achievement: A young person who has achieved success in some area of their lives. For example, the judges will looking for individuals who have achieved results that many thought previously unachievable, a successful feat or a barrier overcome.

Fund-raiser of the Year: This award recognises individuals/groups who by their hard work and dedication have made a difference to a charity or cause.

Good Neighbour: Someone who helps their neighbours and enhances their community by making it a friendlier, safer and comfortable place to live.

Volunteer of the Year: This award will go to an individual, group or organisation that undertakes an unpaid activity where time is given to help an organisation/individual who they are not related to.

Lifetime Contribution: This award recognises the outstanding contribution or achievement of an individual over many years.