A HEART health charity is on the hunt for people across the region who have done something inspiring related to beating heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is launching its 2020 Heart Hero Awards and asking for people to nominate their heart hero.

The awards aim to recognise the different ways people are helping beat the heartbreak of heart and circulatory disease through fundraising, volunteering or helping patients and their families.

This year there are three categories: Healthcare Hero, Young Heart Hero and the Inspiration Award.

The Healthcare Hero award will recognise a doctor, nurse, or person working in a healthcare setting who has made a special effort to make a difference to the life of a heart patient or their family.

The Young Heart Hero award will go to an exceptional person under the age of 18 who has done something amazing for the BHF and is a source of inspiration to others.

The Inspiration award will recognise a person who inspires others through their determination and dedication. Whether that is through their fundraising efforts, taking part in a physical challenge, organising an event, or volunteering activities.

Nominations are open until Saturday 29 February. The winners will be announced at a very special gala awards dinner that will take place in London in September 2020.

Last year, Nick and Sue Parsons of Malton, North Yorkshire won the Fearless Fundraiser award. In 2016 Nick and Sue’s 22-year-old son, Tom, died suddenly due to myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle which affects its ability to pump blood around the body. The couple set up the Tom Parsons Trust in memory of their son, which has provided seven defibrillators for the local community, and have so far raised around £30,000 for the BHF to support research into myocarditis.

The Tom Parsons Trust has taken on a range of fundraising activities, including organising a Summer Ball at York racecourse, which raised an astonishing £23,000 for the BHF. Sue has also shared her story with the local community, inspiring the local fire brigade to do a sponsored bike ride and Tom’s friends to take on the Three Peaks Challenge, an open water swim and skydive.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at BHF said: “Heart and circulatory diseases affect the lives of millions of people across the UK, often in devastating ways. Yet, there are so many ordinary people who, when confronted with that challenge, are doing extraordinary things.

“The BHF’s Heart Hero Awards celebrate the efforts of those who are working selflessly to make life better for other people.

“So if you know someone who is making a difference then please put them forward for an award so that their contribution can be recognised.”