YORK’S unsung heroes were celebrated last night at a virtual ceremony for this year’s Community Pride Awards, organised by The Press.

The finalists of this year’s awards, sponsored by Benenden Health, were invited to join a live stream of the virtual ceremony, held at Spark:York on Thursday night.

The ceremony had to be held online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Editor at The Press, Nigel Burton, 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. These awards have been no exception.

“This year, many of our nominees have gone above and beyond to support the community throughout the pandemic.”

During the event, the winners of all 11 of the categories were announced.

John McGall was announced as the Person of the Year, claiming the prize for voluntarily helping to improve the lives of the homeless, disabled and less fortunate people in York.

Luke Castle claimed the Spirit of Youth award for providing community support through free marketing events and continuing to do so online.

Justine Whitelam was the winner of the Volunteer of the Year after she set up a food bank for people struggling to access essential items.

First Bus driver, Dave Green, claimed the Public Sector Hero prize after he saved a customer’s life by performing CPR when on duty.

Chris Chambers took home the Good Neighbour of the Year award for his time as a community volunteer, offering support to over 65s.

The School of the Year was announced as the Hob Moor Federation, as staff worked closely with pupils and their families throughout lockdown.

Youngsters Joe and Harry Holland claimed the Charity Fundraiser of the Year award, after they were inspired by Captain Tom Moore to take on the task of running over 140km to fundraise for the NHS.

The York Scrubs team scooped the award for Community Project of the Year. With over 300 volunteers, they has been making personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the pandemic.

Dance academy owner, Gemma Fisher, won the Sporting Hero award. Gemma has continued to offer dance lessons to her pupils virtually through videos during the pandemic.

This year’s Health Service Hero was Natalie Walsh for her work with the Dementia Forward group in the city.

Three individuals shared the Child of the Year accolade. Izzy Harwood for her craft project fundraising for the NHS, Livia Stewart for her quick thinking to spot a fire in a local property and Leidan Wall for his support in the local community during the pandemic.