Tell us about your unsung heroes

THIS is the time to celebrate the very best of Glasgow, the unsung heroes who think of others before themselves and whose efforts go above and beyond to make the city a better place to live.

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Nominations must reach us by February 28
Nominations must reach us by February 28

They are our Community Champions and today the Evening Times is delighted to announce the sixth ­season of the awards. Kind-hearted individuals and organisations are recognised for their tireless efforts to help make a difference and we want you to tell us about the remarkable people without whom Glasgow would be a poorer place.

We have already rewarded more than 300 community champions from across the city and now we want to hear more about the people who make Glasgow great. Whether you or someone you know has made a difference by caring for others, campaigning for better services, or in general creating a positive environment, we want you to tell us about it.

These are the inspirational people who will be crowned our Community Champions.

"The Community Champion Awards are about celebrating the individuals and organisations who are the very lifeblood of communities across the Glasgow," says Evening Times editor Tony Carlin.

"They are the people who make this a better place to live and to work. Those we honour and thank at Community Champions are people who don't want hand outs or pity. They are people who want to help a neighbour or to right a wrong. They are people who want to make a positive contribution to their streets, their communities, their city.

"They are simply typical Glaswegians and proud of it. And we should all be proud of them."

Award categories include the Team Award, Individual Award, Public Services Award, Uniform Services Award, Senior Award, Young Award, Health and Wellbeing Award and Sports Award.

The awards are open to everyone and anyone can nominate a team, public servant or themselves.

You could nominate the coach of a sports club or a parent who organises after-school activities, a pensioner who takes on housing issues or a uniformed officer who has saved lives. A list of nominees will be published in the Evening Times and on our website.

The finalists, decided by a judging panel made up of representatives from the awards partners, will take their place in our hall of fame, joining an illustrious band of local heroes who strive to improve the lives of others.

We are delighted to once again be working in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Glasgow Housing Association, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland, who will each assist in our search for this year's champions.

The finalists will be chosen at three events which will take place across the city: the north-east, south and north-west, from as far afield as Baillieston and Carntyne to Ruchazie, Springboig and Tollcross.

The winners from each local event will automatically be selected as finalists for a glittering awards ceremony to crown the champions of Champions to be held in the City Chambers in December.

It all kicks off at the first event in the north-east on March 13 at the GESH Centre, Garthamlock, where the Evening Times donated a minibus. Each event is open and free for all residents from the local community to attend.

"The invaluable work that is carried out by ordinary people day in and day out is tremendously important," says Lord Provost Councillor Sadie Docherty.

"Very often the hard work and commitment of these extraordinary citizens goes unnoticed and that's why the Community Champion awards are so worthwhile. They allow us to get a glimpse of the marvellous work that people do in their communities and to celebrate that unique dedication. Not only that but it raises the profile and underlines the value of true community spirit.

"There are hundreds of people out there who, right now, are working tirelessly to help make our communities better, so I urge everybody to get involved and take part in the nomination process and to recognise the efforts of these deserving, unsung heroes."

Nominations of the Eastenders making a difference must reach us by February 28.

The awards campaign has gone from strength to strength since being launched in autumn 2008 as a way to recognise local heroes at 10 ceremonies across the city. Such was the demand for more heroes to be honoured, we repeated the format in 2010.

The essence of the campaign was then distilled into five events - grouping together two areas within each - in 2011. And in 2012, we introduced a Sport category honouring those who cultivate grassroots sports to reflect the forthcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"This great city is rightly proud of its people," says Gordon Sloan, chairman of Glasgow Housing Association. "In communities up and down Glasgow, there are people who take time out from their busy days to go that extra mile to help others and make a difference to their local area.

"We support many of the volunteers and community groups who carry out this work as it matches our own ambition at GHA of 'better homes, better lives, a better Glasgow'.

"At GHA, part of Wheatley Housing Group, we are rooted in our local communities and committed to giving as many people as possible the chance to play an active role in what happens in their area.

"The awards are not only a great way to mark the extraordinary work of Glasgow's local heroes but also to inspire others to become more involved."

Last year's winners were: Young Award - Hampden Primary School, Team Award - Cook 'n' Care, Individual Award - Fozya Mahmood, Public Service Award - Young Peoples Futures, Senior Award - Greta Riddell, Uniform Service Award - Constable Dario D'Andrea, Health and Wellbeing Award - Help Yourself Grow Experience, Sport Award - Glenda Strang, Lord Provost's Award for Community Service - Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION CATEGORIES

TEAM AWARD

A local team or group of volunteers who make a difference to their community by improving amenities or raising the quality of life for local residents.

INDIVIDUAL AWARD

Someone who gives up their free time to make a significant contribution to other people's lives - they may run a local club, campaign for better services for their area or fundraise for charity.

PUBLIC SERVICES AWARD

This award will reward a public service team or individual who has gone that extra mile and continually demonstrates a 'can do' attitude.

UNIFORM SERVICES AWARD

An extraordinary team or individual from the uniformed services. It could be a person you turn to in times of need, or a team responsible for keeping your community safe.

SENIOR AWARD

Individuals or teams aged 60 and over who, after many years of hard work, continue to devote much of their time to helping others.

YOUNG AWARD

For individuals or teams aged 17 and under. Nominees may have made a difference to their community or have inspired others through their achievements.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING AWARD

This award recognises groups, projects or individuals which promote the improvement of health and wellbeing within their communities.

SPORTS AWARD

This category recognises those working at grassroots level to encourage participation in sport and fitness ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

HOW TO NOMINATE:

CONTACT Lyndsay Wilson on 0141 302 7407 or email communitychamps@eveningtimes.co.uk.

The awards are open to everyone. All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form.

Previous nominees and winners are eligible to enter.

Sport

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