Unsung heroes are invited to step into the spotlight as Uxbridge College and the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader series once again seek inspirational people who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.

The eighth annual Local Heroes awards acknowledges the hard work, dedication and courage shown by ordinary people from Hillingdon borough who have put others first or overcome adversity.

There are five categories in 2009's awards: Outstanding Young Person, Star Carer, Community Champion, Courageous Citizen and Fabulous Fundraiser.

Entry is open to anyone who lives, works or volunteers in the borough, so if you know someone who deserves credit for doing a good deed, nominate them now.

The closing date for entries is Monday 14 December, and the judging panel will make its decision later that week.

Shortlisted nominees will be invited to attend a gala awards night with music from Perry Parsons MBE and The Vyners Swing Band, held on Thursday 28 January at Hayes Community Campus in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes.

Category winners will each receive a trophy and £250 cash, and the person named overall Hero of Hillingdon will pick up an extra £500. Runners up will each receive £50.

Last year's awards saw Multiple Sclerosis sufferer, Nimira Patel, crowned a Hero of Hillingdon, after voluntarily running Little Angels playgroup at Harlington Baptist Church in High Street, Harlington.

She was also recognised for her efforts to support others in the community by offering a listening ear and giving helpful advice, as well as looking after people's children and making sure they get something to eat.

Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, added: "The search for Hillingdon's local heroes is on again and it is a great pleasure for Uxbridge College to join the Gazette and Leader in finding these people.

"There are so many individuals whose generosity and courage makes an enormous difference to others, and we are very much looking forward to honouring them again in 2009."

Shujaul Azam, Editor of the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader series, said: "This will be the first time I have been involved in the awards as Editor of the Gazette and Leader and I hope this year is the most successful to date.

"I am very much looking forward to reading the amazing stories of bravery, courage, caring and dedication and I'm sure that choosing the finalists will be a very difficult task."

Choose from the following categories:

Outstanding Young Person: Anyone aged 16 or under who has made an outstanding achievement or impressive effort, supported others or enthusiastically taken part in sports or an event.

Star Carer: Someone who has selflessly looked after a friend, relative, neighbour, or others.

Community Champion: An individual, group or organisation which has helped or supported the community.

Courageous Citizen: Someone who has triumphed over adversity, achieved something against the odds, or shown courage or determination.

Fabulous Fundraiser: An individual, group, organisation or business which has raised money for a deserving cause.

Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name of the category and contact details for both the nominee and the person who is nominating, or see the Gazette each week for a nomination form.

*Please note that, under competition rules, staff from the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader series, and students and staff from Uxbridge College, cannot be nominated - however, they can nominate other people from outside these organizations.

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