THE Evening Press and City of York Council have launched a major new campaign, to seek the real heroes in our community.

In our York Community Pride campaign over the next few months we will be looking for people and businesses that have made an outstanding contribution to their neighbours, their community, their workplace, or generally to the life of their city.

We will be rewarding the best examples with our York Community Pride awards, to be presented at a glittering ceremony later in the year.

Are you organising a community project to smarten up your area?

Do you know anyone who is?

How about schools that are making an effort to improve their surroundings? Or businesses that are making a real contribution to their street?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we want to hear from you.

As part of the campaign, the city council has allocated £50,000 a year for grants of between £100 and £1,000 for community projects, which could range from improving public buildings to bulb planting.

Using the entry form printed here, send us your nominations for community heroes who are making a difference.

But the campaign is not just about smartening up the city.

In our Mother's Pride category, for example, we are looking for brave youngsters of 12 or under who have overcome an adversity in life. Or maybe you know a young person you would like to see recognised in our Spirit Of Youth category - awarded for those aged between 13 and 17 who have made the best contribution either to their friends, schools or community.

We shall be publicising the efforts and achievements of nominees throughout the summer.

We are also looking for sponsors for our awards.

Local insurance giant Norwich Union is sponsoring our Volunteer Of The Year award category, which will recognise someone who has unselfishly given time to help others.

For more information on sponsoring an award category, phone Nigel Briggs at the Evening Press, on 01904 653051, or email

To nominate your York Community Pride heroes, you need to complete the entry form, giving reasons on no more than two sheets of A4.

Please note that you can send us a photograph of your nominee or project, but we cannot return it.

The sooner you enter the better.

A panel of judges, including Evening Press editor Kevin Booth and City of York Council chief executive David Atkinson, will consider the entries, selecting three finalists in each category.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Ebor Suite at York Racecourse on December 1, 2004.

Anyone who wishes to apply for a York Community Pride grant should phone the council on 01904 552049 or 552063.

Updated: 14:40 Friday, April 23, 2004