Nominating an unsung hero in your community for a special award is a gesture you won’t regret.
Just ask the winners of last year’s Heart of Gloucestershire Community Awards, who were hailed for making an effort to improve the lives of those around them.
Stuart Langworthy was named Public Sector Hero in the prestigious awards, run by the Gloucestershire Echo in partnership with its sister paper the Gloucester Citizen.
The 53-year-old, a business studies teacher at Millbrook Academy for more than 30 years, was nominated for regularly going above and beyond the call of duty at the school.
He said it was a special moment in his life and one he will never forget.
And the stalwart has urged people across the county to leap into action and nominate people for this year’s Heart of Gloucestershire awards.
Stuart, from Abbeymead, said: “I was hugely humbled to be nominated for an award, let along to become a finalist and then go on and win it.
“It was a very proud moment in my life and I still have the certificate sitting on my mantelpiece.
“I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of people, who do a lot for their community and I am just one of many.
“But it was still really nice to receive the recognition for the work I do at the school.”
Stuart said he was a long-time supporter of the Heart of Gloucestershire awards, and he always made a point of nominating someone he knew who had made a difference.
“I just think there is so much good work going on in the world, and so many people who do a lot for other people without seeking any recognition, that it is nice to say well done now and again,” he added.
“I am a big believer in awards like this and I would certainly encourage people to think of someone who perhaps deserves some recognition for what they do, and nominate them for an award this year.”
Another proud winner at last year’s finals was Carmel Croft, from the Reddings, who was named Caring Hero for the great job she had done in caring for people across Gloucestershire.
Husband Lionel said receiving the recognition had had a profoundly positive effect on his wife.
“It was really nice for her to receive the award and I’m sure it’s something she will never forget,” he said.
“She always knew she did a good job but I suppose no one else got to hear about it.
“That sort of thing goes on all over the place I’m sure.
“There are many people who are quietly doing very good work in the community but the public doesn’t get to hear about it.
“It was nice for her to stand up there at the awards and to get some praise.
“I would certainly encourage people to nominate unsung heroes for an award this year.
“It’s a small gesture but it counts for a lot.”
The annual awards honour the kind of people who do so much for others but never take time for themselves.
This year the finalists will be invited to a special ceremony at Hatherley Manor on June 11.
The categories being judged are volunteer, caring and environmental heroes. For each of those there will be an award for adults and one for under 18s.
There is also the brave heart hero award for an individual who has shown courage in the face of adversity.
The best community project will also be rewarded as will the ‘hero in our community’ for individuals who give up their own time to better where we live.
There will be recognition for a public sector hero such as a fantastic fireman or dedicated doctor.
Nominations are open and people have until April 25 to get their entries in, online at gloucestercitizen. co.uk/heart or gloucestershireecho.co.uk/heart