THE SEARCH for local superstars begins today with the official launch of the Dorset Hero Awards.

The Bournemouth Echo along with its sister Newsquest titles in the region are looking for those people in the county who deserve our thanks and recognition for all that they have done during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are a host of backers of the awards, including Principal Sponsor Talbot Village Trust who told the Echo how important it was to “honour those who have made a significant difference to other people’s lives.”

The awards are divided into three categories: Medical Heroes, Emergency Heroes and Everyday Heroes.

Bill Browne, on behalf of the organisers, said: “We know there are many people who have done extraordinary things to help others in these troubled times and we are looking to our readers to tell us all about them.

Christopher Lees, Chairman of the Trustees at Talbot Village Trust, said: “We understand that now more than ever, that the role our local community plays in our daily lives is invaluable.”

Others, including the Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, welcome the initiative. Clare Gallie, CEO, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the local communities in Dorset to come together to show their gratitude and support and to be able to nominate and celebrate the tremendous work and efforts of our everyday heroes - individuals, healthcare organisations, neighbourhoods and charitable organisations.”

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

The awards will be hosted online in the summer by Falklands veteran and hero Simon Weston CBE and there will be celebrity guests to introduce each category, including Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.

For details on how to nominate please click here. Each person who nominates will be entered in a draw for a £100 shopping prize (terms and conditions apply).