THERE is still time to nominate East Lancashire's amazing lockdown heroes who went above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.

Last month, we launched the Lancashire Telegraph Community Heroes awards, sponsored by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, and have received some fantastic nominations so far.

The closing date for entries was Friday but because we don't want anyone to miss out we've extended it to Friday November 19.

It is quick and easy to put forward your heroes and we especially want to know about people who have gone the extra mile in the education sector and all those 'everyday heroes' in our communities.

Tell us about NHS staff, shop workers, volunteers and young people who deserve to be honoured for their care and compassion in such unprecedented times.

We also want to recognise the everyday heroes and our emergency services as well as those working in business, education and hospitality who have stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic.

To nominate a person or organisation, send a brief citation saying what category you are nominating someone for, why you think they deserve the award, along with your name, address and phone number to with ‘Lancashire Telegraph Community Heroes 2021’ in the subject line.

Regional editor Steve Thompson said: “This has been an unprecedented time and there have been so many stories of heroes from all walks of life – from our doctors, nurses and carers to the everyday heroes like our bus drivers, supermarket workers and binmen, to the young people, teachers and neighbours.

“The Lancashire Telegraph Community Heroes Awards will recognise those people who have shown what this great community is made of.

“We can’t wait to hear more about the inspiring people of East Lancashire who have shown such bravery, compassion and leadership in the last 20 months.

“We have been reporting on some of the amazing acts of compassion, bravery and ingenuity in the last year and it is only right that we recognise the brilliant people of this region.

“I only wish we could recognise more people as there are so many heroes out there — especially in our hospital and health and care teams.

“Please make sure you nominate anyone you think has gone above and beyond and helped us all get through these difficult times.”

All winners will receive a trophy and feature in our showcase Community Heroes supplement in December. The closing date for entries is Friday.

The 10 categories

YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY HANSON)  – This award will recognise young people who have shown resilience beyond their years over the past 18 months. They will have carried out voluntary work, performed a carer role in their family or demonstrated independence and maturity while their key worker parents/guardians battled coronavirus.

EDUCATION HERO OF THE YEAR - This award will recognise an individual who works in the education sector from the governor to a site manager and everyone in between. They will have provided outstanding support for their pupils, demonstrated real creativity to deliver learning experiences and inspired youngsters and colleagues with their resilience and positivity.

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKER OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LANDFILL PROJECTS) - This award will recognise street cleaners, litter pickers, refuse workers or campaigners who have strived to improve our environment in unprecedented circumstances. They will have shown an understanding of why our natural environment was especially important during the pandemic, demonstrated creativity in their approach to their work to make people’s lives better and maintained a friendly and positive outlook, keeping spirits high.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION (SPONSORED BY PIERCE BUSINESS ADVISORY & ACCOUNTANCY GROUP) - This award will recognise someone in the community, a neighbour, volunteer or friend who has truly ‘stepped up’ and helped others. They will have always put other people first, provided a service or support that would otherwise not have been available and contributed to the wider good in the community.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY THE CROSS GUNS INN) - This award will recognise a business that successfully diversified during the pandemic or a pub or restaurant that went above and beyond to support others in the community, despite the ongoing challenges facing many in the hospitality sector. They may have assisted in the manufacturing of PPE or used their resources to provide meals for elderly/vulnerable/needy, supported their community or shown leadership in adversity.

THE EVERYDAY HERO AWARD (SPONSORED BY BRYAN LEE BUILDING CONTRACTORS LTD) - This award will recognise someone who selfless and dedicated in helping others in their day-to-day life. They will have kept spirits high with people they meet, looked out for other people and helped them when they have needed it, whether by helping those who needed extra support during the pandemic or by maintaining a positive outlook.

CARER OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY CHAPELHOUSE) - This award will recognise the carers at home and in the community who have gone the extra mile. They will have shown true compassion towards those they care for, contributed to helping keep their patients shielded from Covid during the peak of the pandemic and demonstrated outstanding acts of kindness.

NHS HERO OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY SPECSAVERS BLACKBURN) - This award will recognise an NHS hero who has gone above and beyond. They will have shown bravery, courage and resilience in their day to day work, demonstrated outstanding acts of kindness and compassion to families and patients and acted as an exemplary ambassador for the NHS.

TEAM OF THE YEAR - This award is for a team of people who have worked together for the benefit of others over the past 18 months. They may have been working in a hospital department, education setting, business or be part of a supportive community group.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION (SPONSORED BY LOOKERS) - This award will recognise an individual or organisation that has gone above and beyond. They will have dedicated their resources towards the greater good, providing much needed support/services where it has been most needed, shown leadership and courage in their efforts and set a good example to others.