A NEW awards ceremony has been created to recognise and celebrate local heroes living in the south west of England.

Nominations opened for the Southwest Community Awards in November across a range of categories designed to recognise remarkable teachers, emergency service workers, fundraisers, and others.

Awards organiser Callum set up the initiative with the aim of giving deserving local people an opportunity to receive recognition.

The awards are accepting nominations through an online survey, and Callum is planning to hold an awards ceremony later this year for the winners – many of whom will deserve recognition for the role they have played in their communities throughout the pandemic.  

Callum, who lives in Devon but grew up in Somerset, said: “Covid has been in our lives for two years now.

“We were inspired by the Pride of Britain Awards, and we wanted to do something more local.

“Covid’s been hard, so we wanted to recognise local people.”

He is hoping to receive 300 nominations, and Callum, who works in marketing, said the amount he was sent increased over the Christmas period after a slower start to the process in November.

“It’s really picking up,” he said.

“We have received around 140 nominations. Our target is 100 nominations a month.”

Callum has been handing out flyers to local businesses to get them involved.

He has also set up an Amazon Wishlist to help him get hold of decorations and other items he needs to host the awards ceremony.

The seven Southwest Community Awards categories are: Community Hero Award, Community Fundraiser Award, Outstanding Bravery Award, Achievement Award, Special Recognition Award, Emergency Services Award, and Teacher of the Year.

Winners will receive a trophy and a £20 gift card, which Callum says will be a small thank you gesture to some of the region’s community heroes.

The awards have been sponsored by Allstar Revolution, a dance group that has contributed prizes.

The winners will be chosen by Callum after he considers every nomination submitted by the public.

Nominations close at 8pm on Monday, February 28.

To submit a nomination, visit: https://surveyheart.com/form/61855c11346a72403c4cc530#welcome.

To help the Southwest Community Awards put on a ceremony, visit their Amazon Wishlist.

For more information, email southwestcommunityawards@gmail.com.