A TOWN’S unsung stars and community stalwarts are being sought to feature in a special photographic exhibition.

Hidden Heroes - led by Middlesbrough Mela and Middlesbrough Museums and funded by Arts Council England - is a celebration of those who've gone the extra mile to improve life for those around them.

Their contribution to local communities and the town as a whole has never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nominations are now being invited, with the chosen ten Hidden Heroes having their portrait taken by documentary photographer Joanne Coates, winner of prestigious awards including Portrait of Britain 2020.

Mrs Coates will get to know the nominees' communities, locations and surroundings before capturing their stories in a photographic portrait.

Mrs Coates said: "People make places and we want to celebrate them.

"Community heroes are people who don't often come forward, or even know their value in the place!

"After working with fishermen in Orkney, working class women in Hull and female farmers in Northumberland for Berwick Visual Arts I've come to realise people often don't know how interesting they are, or why their stories are so important and need to be told.

"It helps to add value to that community, space and place.

"Hidden Heroes is a chance to celebrate after a hard year, a chance to shine a light on the people who've been there in the dark.

"It's brilliant to be working with the Mela and having the chance to work with the community is what I enjoy the most about working as a photographer."

The ten Hidden Heroes will form an outdoor exhibition as part of this year's Micro Mela and the portraits will be on show in Albert Park throughout August.

Nominations can be made at: middlesbroughmela.co.uk/hiddenheroes/.

The deadline is July 4.