There's still time to enter this year to shine a spotlight on our local heroes, as The Northern Echo teams up with Durham County Council again - find out all the details here.

The County Durham Together Awards at Hardwick Hall Hotel near Sedgefield will take place on Wednesday, December 6 2023 and will recognise individuals and teams who have gone the extra mile to help our communities.

The annual awards give us the chance to shine a spotlight on some of the inspirational, selfless, dedicated people - the unsung heroes in our region.

Read more: Northern Echo County Durham Together Awards held at Ramside Hall

There wasn't a dry eye in the house at last year's event - and this year's once again will bring a rollercoaster of emotions.

And we need your help to celebrate these heroes, with some categories still low on nominations this year.

There is still time to apply, so if you know someone from County Durham who deserves recognition for their actions, it's time to show it!

All entries must be received by Friday, October 6 by 12 noon. Click here to apply.

The Northern Echo:

Here are the categories where we're still looking for nominations.

Key Worker of the Year

This award will be presented to an individual who has played a vital role to public health and safety. It could be a person who went beyond the requirements of their role to provide support to those who needed it the most, under the most challenging circumstances.

Public Service Award

This award recognises a public service team or individual making an outstanding contribution to the community in which they work. We want to hear about people who have gone above and beyond to provide a vital service for people in the area.

Carer of the Year

This award recognises someone who has played a vital role in helping others. It could be an individual who has existing or new care responsibilities or someone who is employed as a carer who went above and beyond the requirements of their role to provide support to those who needed it most.

Health and Wellbeing Award

This award will recognise groups or projects which promote the improvement of health and wellbeing within their communities. It may be a project which offers advice, counselling and support for those with health issues. The category is open to all charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and individuals.

Environment Award

This award will go to an individual or organisation that has made a positive contribution to the environment. This could include the physical environment as well as helping to protect our climate.

Visitor Economy Award

Recognising an individual, organisation or business who has played a vital role in promoting the county as a safe and great place to visit for staycationeers, supporting the hospitality and tourism sector, to help the visitor economy. It could include an advocate for the county, innovation in the visitor offer or recognising entrepreneurial skills.

Sports Person/Team of the Year

This award will recognise an individual or team in a sporting discipline, individual sport or sporting event that has achieved the most notable performance in recent months and shown examples of outstanding commitment, dedication and enthusiasm in their chosen sport.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are pleased to once again be supporting the County Durham Together Awards. We know our communities are full of people who go out of their way to make a difference to the daily lives of others.

"These awards provide us with a fantastic opportunity to recognise what they do. We have had some very worthy winners over the past few years and I am sure we will see many more this year.”

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Gavin Foster, editor of The Northern Echo, said: “It's fantastic to be able to celebrate and recognise the unsung heroes in our community who do so much and deserve so much recognition. 

"Last year we were blown away by the amazing stories of achievement, endeavour and dedication of so many people across County Durham and how much they do in their communities.

"We are looking forward to celebrating this once more."