Countdown is on to Local Hero awards

Rebecca Hutchins won the Child of Achievement
Rebecca Hutchins won the Child of Achievement

It’s the night when those who work tirelessly for others have their actions finally recognised.

The Local Hero awards honour people from all walks of life who have went out of their way to make a difference in their communities.

Nominations have now cloased for this year’s event, which will take place at Airth Castle Hotel on Thursday, May 16.

Organisers Central FM are hopeful that this year’s night will be the best yet.

Ten awards are up for grabs, including bravery, child of achievemnent, parent of the year, NHS worker of the year, and charity hero.

The winners are all nominated by friends or family members, before a panel of judges selects the winners, which are announced on the night.

Station manager Ron McEwan has been overseeing the preparations for the event and told The Falkirk Herald that the quality of noiminations received this year remained high, despite the Local Hero awards now being in its eighth year.

He said: “The response from the public has been amazing. We’ve already filled 80 per cent of the categories, and we’ve heard some fantastic stories from a wide variety of people.

“DFS, our new sponsors, are delighted to be on board. The Local Hero awards has established itself as a great event which recognises some extraordinary people.”

Last year’s awards were a great occasion, and half of the ten categories were won by people from the Falkirk district.

Amongst them was Rebecca Hutchins, who won the Child of Achievement award for her feats as a talented dancer.

The teenager suffers from uretheric reflux after being born prematurely. She has two shunts in her bladder and has attended Yorkhill Hospital all her life.

Despite her difficulties she has won 55 titles, including the World Theatre Stage Dance Championship.

Aunt Sharon Tait, who nominated her, said at the time: “I just wanted her to receive the recognition she deserves for all the determination she shows, fighting her battles with illness and never giving up.”

Life-saver Craig Reid, a Scottish Ambulance Service co-responder, was named the Emergency Services Employee of the Year.

He has responded to over 700 calls, but uses his own tragic story of his brother dying in a car accident to warn youngsters of road dangers.

Fire and rescue station manager Douglas Dick said: “For the last three years, Craig has taken part in the Safe Drive Stay Alive programme, talking to over 12,000 young people.”

The shortlist for this year’s awards will be announced in the coming weeks.