Time to honour unsung heroes

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Nominations are coming in for the annual Harrogate district Volunteering Oscars, but there’s still time to nominate someone you know for these special awards.

We are looking for those caring people who do so much to help others, often without public recognition or reward.

They might be an individual who gives up their time to help neighbours, or someone who works as part of a voluntary organisation to help their community.

There are awards for sports volunteers, environment volunteers, and also for the best new volunteer, who has only started to give their time in a voluntary capacity within the last year.

There is also a special award for a young volunteer, to recognise the efforts so many young people make for good causes.

There is also a new category this year, to honour the Trustee of the Year - someone who gives their time to help with the management of a charity.

Businesses too have a category, to recognise the charity efforts of so many companies in our area.

The Volunteer Oscars are open to everyone who lives in the Harrogate district, and there are also four special categories for Unsung Heroes in Harrogate, in Nidderdale, in Knaresborough and in Ripon and Boroughbridge.

The awards are organised jointly by Ackrill Media Group, publishers of the Harrogate Advertiser, Ripon Gazette and Boroughbridge Herald, Nidderdale Herald, and the Knaresborough Post, together with former mayor of Harrogate, County Coun John Fox, and the Harrogate and Ripon Volunteer Centres.

They started during Coun Fox’s mayoral year in 2008 and are now an annual event, saying thank you to the many people who do so much to help others.

Ackrill Media Group editor Jean MacQuarrie said: “Over the last three years we have been able to honour so many incredible people, and thank them on behalf of the community for all their hard work.

“Very often these volunteers quietly get on with their work, without seeking any public acclaim. But they do so much for our district, and really do deserve our heartfelt thanks for all that they do, in so many different ways.”

Coun Fox said: “We want to pay tribute to the huge contribution that so many people make to community life. We are inviting organisations, groups or individuals to participate in this great thank you event for volunteers.

“Through the Volunteer Centres we are asking groups from throughout the borough to nominate volunteers for this awards celebration – our very own ‘Oscars’ for those who volunteer in the Borough of Harrogate.”

Readers can nominate anyone in the Harrogate district, and everyone who is nominated will be invited to a special Oscars ceremony at The Old Swan Hotel on Friday, November 4, when the winners will be revealed. Every nominee will receive a certificate to mark their achievement.

Ogdens jewellers of Harrogate present every winner with a carriage clock, inscribed with the words ‘A gift of time for a gift of time’. Ogdens have kindly donated the special carriage clocks again.