The Devon and Somerset Community Awards are returning this year and organisers are looking for people to get their nominations in and for local businesses to help with sponsorship.

The event seeks to recognise local heroes and commend them for outstanding things they have done, either personally or for the good of others in their community. Award categories for 2023 are: community hero award, community fundraiser award, outstanding bravery award, special recognition award, emergency service of the year and teacher of the year.

Founder Callum Philip is urging people to put forward their nominations now, with over 100 having been already submitted. They must be submitted no later than June 18. Callum said: ‘We’ve been doing this for two and a half years. This year has been tough with the cost of living, however I’m carrying on because I love this too much. We had 500 nominations last year and we want to try and top that this year.’

Callum, an entrepreneur who also runs the South West LGBT Community Scheme, was inspired watching the Pride of Britain awards on television one night and wished to make a similar local and regional provision. He assembled a small team of organisers in 2021 and they ran the event for the first time last year, hosting the ceremony in East Budleigh, which saw winners and runners up for all seven categories, with all 14 winning prizes.

This year’s ceremony will take place in August, with the venue to be confimed. Callum said: ‘We’ve had people cry on the phone when we’ve told them they’ve been nominated for an award. Seeing people receive is what keeps us going, it’s genuinely such a nice feeling.’

The event is dependent on help, donations and sponsorship from local businesses and organisers are currently appealing for help with this year’s event. Sponsors recently secured for this year include Alder in Lewdown, Devon Escape, the Gin Nest and Delta Force Paintball.

To nominate someone, fill in a form using the following web link (copy and paste): and for more information, email: [email protected]