Help us hunt for Suffolk's heroes

WE need you to nominate your hero!Today the Evening Star launches its hunt for the hidden heroes of Suffolk.

WE need you to nominate your hero!

Today the Evening Star launches its hunt for the hidden heroes of Suffolk.

Inspirational, brave or compassionate, we want to uncover the county's champions for Stars of Suffolk Awards 2010.

Run in conjunction with Suffolk County Council, the awards honour ordinary men and woman who do extraordinary things - often with no thought for their own safety.

Nominations can be sent in now and the closing date is not until January 8 next year. The winners will be announced in the spring at a glittering award ceremony.

Categories for the awards include Volunteer of the Year, Courageous Child of the Year, Police Person of the Year, Social Worker of the Year and School of the Year.

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Last year's winner, Mandy Gavin, showed incredible bravery when she pulled a woman from a burning car just moments before it erupted into a fireball.

As other people stood by and watched in horror, the courageous Ipswich woman dragged motorist Clare Scarfe from her vehicle after the horrendous crash on the A1071 at Hadleigh.

Mrs Gavin, 46, of Fritton Close, was named overall Star of Suffolk for her outstanding bravery and has since become firm friends with Mrs Scarfe.

Speaking at the launch of this year's awards at the Suffolk Show, she said: “I was honoured to receive the award. I felt very proud.

“These awards recognise a huge amount people do in our community and encourage people to do more and help others.

“I didn't think I was very brave and what I did I would have done anyway.

“I would encourage people to nominate and put people forward.”

She was joined by Jon Harvey, of Mill Lane, Felixstowe, who won Search and Rescue Person of the Year last year.

The 19-year-old shipping clerk is a member of Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service.

He said: “These are great awards and it's great people in our community are being recognised in this way.

“There is a lot of work that goes on that people don't know about.”

Organiser Mick Parker, of Parker Communications Limited, said: “We're launching the Stars of Suffolk Awards at the Suffolk Show.

“This is a fantastic event and represents all aspects of our community in a variety of ways.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Last year's awards were a great success and we were very pleased to be able to celebrate so many unsung heroes in communities across Suffolk.

“We hope people take part again and nominate the people who have made a difference to their lives.”

Who is your star of Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk