YORK’S hidden heroes were celebrated last night at the York Community Pride Awards.

The finalists of this year’s awards, organised by The Press and City of York Council, and sponsored by Benenden Health, gathered at York Racecourse on Thursday night along with their families as the winners of the 12 categories were revealed.

The Press’s deputy editor Stuart Martel welcomed guests and congratulated all the inspirational people invited to the event.

“The York Community Pride Awards throw the spotlight on feats of incredible bravery, and triumph over adversity,” he said.

“The Press is proud to be able to honour and celebrate the unsung heroes of our great city. Each year we are inundated with nominations for inspirational people in our community who are looking out for others without seeking any reward or recognition.

“This year has been no exception, with the high standard of entries making it extremely hard for our judges to select the finalists and the eventual winners.”

Olivia Cupaiolo was awarded the Spirit of Youth award for her work promoting the importance of organ donations.

Three individuals shared the Child of the Year accolade.

Ellie Rawling was commended for her work as volunteer with Kitchen for Everyone, while Frankie Adams was recognised for his fight with epilepsy - and Will Cropper completed a 170-mile bike ride to raise money for the charity TSA.

Andy Webster, who set up a disability sports group, was judged the winner of the Volunteer of the Year category, sponsored by Aviva, and Gemma Lumley - who raised £13,000 to help support NSPCC school services - was awarded the Charity Fundraiser of the Year crown, sponsored by Pryers Solicitors.

Headlands Primary School scooped the School of the Year award for its involvement in community projects, while martial arts coach Rich Cadden won the Sporting Hero award, sponsored by York Racecourse, for helping people achieve their fitness goals. The Choose 2 Youth enterprise took home the Best Community Project award, sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, for creating a happy environment for people suffering from disabilities.

Carl Wain, who promoted services in the city, won the Public Sector Hero award, sponsored by the council, while the former CEO of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mike Proctor, won the Health Service Hero award, sponsored by Hungate.

Michael and Debbie Embleton were awarded the Good Neighbour of the Year award for their fundraising for Martin House Hospice.

Ed Poxon - a long-serving tutor at York College - won the Teacher of the Year award after he was nominated posthumously by former pupils.

Sean Coxhead, who passed away last month, was named Community Pride Person of the Year, sponsored by Benenden, for his fundraising efforts for Macmillan.

l Don’t miss The Press on Tuesday for our eight-page supplement profiling the finalists and featuring a host of pictures from last night’s event.

For more photos visit thepress.co.uk.