THE hard work of individuals and voluntary organisations in benefiting their communities across County Durham ihas been launched.

The Northern Echo is backing the Durham Community Action awards which will recognied those who giving up their own time to improve the lives of others. 

A glittering awards evening will be held at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham later this year.

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Sarah Robinson, the charity’s communities manager, said: “The awards will showcase the work of individuals and organisations from across County Durham.

“The aim of the event is to recognise and celebrate the fantastic work done and to encourage wider participation.

“The amount of work that volunteers put in support our social fabric, communities and everything that goes on in County Durham.

“These volunteers put in their time for no reward other than how they feel about what they do. We are putting these awards together to celebrate that achievement and what they contribute.”

The awards are being sponsored by Banks Group, Beamish Museum, Northumbrian Water the Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg and County Durham NHS clinical commissioning groups.

The awards will be officially open to nominations on June 5, to coincide with National Volunteer Week.

Categories include improving health, the environment, local economy, community safety, opportunities for young people as well as awards for individuals.

Ms Robinson said: “More and more services, because of the economic climate we have been operating in for the last few years, have been provided by volunteers so there is quite a lot of formal volunteers goes on, which might have previously been provided by the public sector.

“But there are still people who have been there for years and years, working at the community centres, working as a sports coach with children or making teas at their local cricket club, which we would also like to be able to recognise.

“The nominations are open to people to nominate a friend or colleague or somebody who helps out at an organisation that they take part in and they are open to anyone in County Durham who works as a volunteer.”

The event will be held at Ramside Hall Hotel in October and includes a formal dinner and presentation evening.

To find out more, contact Durham Community Action on 01207-529-621 or email