EVERY community has its local heroes – those whose selfless actions and generosity of spirit serve as an inspiration to everyone else.
In all walks of life throughout the Highlands there are men, women and young people who are driven by a desire to help others and who go out of their way to make a real and lasting difference to their communities.
We at Scottish Provincial Press believe these dedicated, big-hearted individuals deserve to be publicly recognised for the priceless contribution they make.
And we are asking you, our readers, to join with us in celebrating their achievements as we launch the inaugural Highland Heroes Awards.
Our long-established local newspapers have always been the best platform for promoting all that is good about living in the Highlands.
Fittingly, then, nominations for the Highland Heroes Awards are being invited through five of SPP’s weekly and bi-weekly titles – including the Inverness Courier – which are at the heart of the communities they serve.
From the fields of healthcare and education to charity work and volunteering, we have devised 12 award categories and are relying on readers to put forward the names of those they feel are most worthy of recognition. Each award is being supported by a sponsor.
Nominations are now open, with a deadline for entries of Monday, September 11.
After the closing date, a carefully selected five-strong judging panel will meet to consider all the nominations and draw up a shortlist of three nominees in each category.
The shortlist, along with details about the nominees in contention for each award, will be published in a special supplement in all the participating newspapers at the end of September.
It will contain full details of how to vote for the person you think is the most outstanding nominee in each category.
After the votes have been tallied up, the winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Thursday, November 9. All those who have been shortlisted will be invited to attend and there will be prominent post-event coverage in all the papers.
Heroism can come in many forms, whether responding courageously to a potentially life-threatening situation or striving quietly and diligently to make life better for other people. Invariably it comes with no thought of personal reward.
Whatever the circumstances, we are convinced that the recipients of our first Highland Heroes Awards will be united by their exemplary commitment and devotion to duty in supporting others.
So please give some thought to who the local heroes are in your area, then waste no time in telling us who you think would be a worthy winner and why. The nomination process is explained in the panel on the far right.
Together with our readers and sponsors we will shine a light on some of the magnificent work that goes on in our communities – often behind the scenes and unheralded – and show our Highland Heroes of 2017 just how much we value them.
Nominations forms to allow you to put forward your own Highland Heroes are available in the Inverness Courier.