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Selfless people who help others deserve recognition; Pride of Coventry & Warwickshire COMMUNITY AWARDS ++ COMMUNITY AWARDS ++.

Byline: By Sinead Keller

THE search is continuing for the unsung heroes who make our communities better places to live.

The seventh Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Community Awards are highlighting and rewarding the selfless folk who dedicate themselves to helping others.

We have been asking for your nominations for local heroes who help improve the lives of others through their selfless acts.

The winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony at Stoneleigh Park on October 17.

It is an opportunity for Telegraph readers to recognise people who work in community groups, organisations, or by themselves to make a difference in Coventry and Warwickshire.

So, do you know someone who devotes time and energy to helping others? Or have you ever admired someone's unselfish devotion to a noble cause?

The deadline for nominations is May 9, so it is not too late to add the name of someone to the list you think is deserving.

Community heroes in Coventry and Warwickshire will be competing in seven categories in the 2008 community awards.

They are Teacher of the Year, Public Sector Hero, Young Community Hero, Community Project of the Year, Local Hero, Caring Hero and Braveheart Hero.

The overall winner at the ceremony will again have their name inscribed on Coventry Cathedral's Millennium Screen.

Readers can enter via the nomination form on this page, pick up a form at the Telegraph offices or any branch of Coventry Building Society or log on to our website www.coventrytelegraph.net and follow the link.

Last year Linda Boon, aged 51, of Mayflower Terrace, Stoke Hill, Coventry, won the Public Sector Hero award The dedicated lollipop lady has been getting children safely to and from school for 16 years as well as being committed to Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.

She works at Richard Lee Primary School where she is on duty at the traffic lights on Hipswell Highway come rain or shine.

She first volunteered for the Girl Guiding Association in 1988 as a Brownie helper and later set up a Rainbow Unit.

When there was no one to take on the older children she also set up a Guide group.

Mum-of-three Linda, said: "It was very exciting to be nominated and a big surprise.

"I decided to join the Brownies and Guides because I wanted to do something for the girls - give them a hobby and also a chance to learn life skills.

"Some of them can be intimidated by the boys, whereas when it is all girls together we just have fun whatever we're doing, whether it is hanging from a rope or canoeing down a river.

"I became a lollipop lady when the previous woman left and since I walked my children to school every day anyway, I thought I might as well do it.

"I didn't expect to do it forever, but I really enjoyed it and 16 years on I am still there.

"I love the job and I have seen lots of children grow-up over the years and now they bring their own children to school.

"If there is anyone thinking of making a nomination they should just go for it as it means a lot to the person to have that recognition."

THE CATEGORIES ARE:

YOUNG COMMUNITY HERO

Do you know someone (under the age of eighteen in October 2008) who is a young hero? Maybe they are part of an organisation like the scouts, girl guides or cadets, maybe they just care about others in their community shopping or gardening for old people or helping them to understand today's technology? Maybe they give up their time to help other young people through theatre or sport? Or perhaps they care enough to lobby politicians for a better deal for young people. Please nominate a young person who you know is already working to make the world a better place.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR

We are looking for a teacher that goes beyond the call of duty, that extra mile to become exceptional at their job. Maybe you know a teacher who has made a positive impression. Someone who has such dedication and enthusiasm for passing on knowledge that they have fi red up your imagination or encouraged you to reach your true potential. Maybe you know someone who teaches in a specific area, for example teaching disabled people to ride or do sport, or a teacher who has used their own time to help someone struggling with a subject, or a very inspirational teacher who encourages youngsters or adults to achieve the best they can. Coventry University are partnering the Evening Telegraph in the Community Awards to find and reward exceptional teachers. The Teacher of the Year award is a new category to give those in the teaching profession a pat on the back for their hard work and dedication. We are looking for anyone who teaches exceptionally, not just school teachers, so if you know someone who inspires others to learn, nominate them for Teacher of the Year.

BRAVE HEART HERO

We are looking for Brave Heart Heroes for the Pride of Coventry & Warwickshire Community Awards 2008. This special award will be given to an individual of any age who has responded to an immediate need and significantly affected the life or lives of others.

For example; someone who has rescued a person from a dangerous situation or shown immense courage to help another in diffi culty.

Do you know someone who showed tremendous courage in an emergency? Or maybe you know someone who is incredibly brave in the face of adversity; who doesn't complain, but uses their situation to the betterment of life for others? You can nominate them for the Brave Heart Hero award and show how much you appreciate their courage and selflessness.

COMMUNITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR

We are looking for a community project that benefits the people of Coventry and Warwickshire. Do you know a worthy project which has real impact on the community and that deserves recognition? Our Community Project of the Year category, welcomes nominations for the many deserving schemes going on in our county and would like to recognise and reward the efforts made by the remarkable people who are the driving force for making our communities better and more interesting places to live. It might be a community centre, an organisation that makes life easier for those in difficult circumstances, a drama or sports project or a scheme that makes our surroundings safer and cleaner. If you know of a community project of any kind, worthy of recognition is the Pride of Coventry & Warwickshire Community Awards, please nominate them.

LOCAL HERO

Do you know a local hero? That special person who always cares about others and puts themselves out to help those who need it?

This person gives up their time and energy to help their community.

Whether it be fund-raising to keep local amenities open, starting a new facility to help local disaffected youths keep on the straight and narrow, feeding the homeless in their spare time, or taking the time out to look after the disadvantaged of the community, this person will be acting out of human kindness and not for personal gain.

PUBLIC SECTOR

Do you know a nurse, doctor, fire-fighter, police officer, social worker, dustman, dinner lady or lollipop person who deserves recognition for the service they give above and beyond their job remit? If you know someone who works anywhere in the public sector and goes way above the call of duty, we would like to honour these heroes for their efforts.

CARING HERO

There are so many carers in our society, looking after sick or disabled relatives, neighbours or friends. We would like to honour these people who put themselves out to help others because they have a caring heart. They don't need to be a full-time carer to be nominated, so please if you know someone who fits this description, please let us know.

CAPTION(S):

RN230401LOLL2 SATISFACTION... Last year's Public Sector Hero Linda Boon has been a dedicated lollipop lady for 16 years. Picture: Richard Nelmes
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 24, 2008
Words:1348
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