IF you know someone who deserves praise for making York a better place, it’s up to you to make sure they are recognised.

That is the message from the main sponsor of this year’s Community Pride awards, which is urging people to nominate their community heroes for the awards.

It’s the fifth year Benenden Healthcare have supported Community Pride, and marketing director Lawrence Christensen said the decision to sponsor the ceremony once again was an easy one.

He said: “As a mutual society our whole business model is about community and Community Pride is the jewel in the crown of what we do locally.”

The awards recognise the quiet heroes of York who, as volunteers, fundraisers, teachers, parents, children, public sector workers and many others, make the city a better place.

Lawrence added: “The wealth of nominations is incredible, and the stories that come through are unbelievable.

“There people who live amongst us who deserve at least one night of the year when they are the stars.”

But the awards rely on people putting their heroes forward and making sure their inspirational stories are heard.

“I want people to get involved and make nominations.

“If you know someone and don’t put them forward, then maybe nobody will put them forward and their story will never get told as it deserves to be.”

Community Pride culminates in an awards evening in October, which Lawrence describes as an emotional celebration for the city.

“It’s a high, and a real celebration of everything that stands for York,” he added.

And even though not everyone can be a winner in their category, for the last two years Lawrence and his fellow judges have been so bowled over by the tales of dedication and heroism that they have created new awards which are announced on the night to recognise very special people who might otherwise not get a mention.

All nominees must live in, or contribute to life in, the City of York Council area.

Three finalists from each category will be invited to the awards ceremony when the winners will be revealed.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit yorkpress.co.uk/pride. Entries close on Friday, July 18, 2014.