Help us celebrate Aberdeenshire's unsung heroes

Nominations are open now for the 2019 Inspiring Aberdeenshire Awards.

Now in its seventh year, the awards are held each June to showcase those people in Aberdeenshire who go above and beyond, often unrecognised, to help their community. Nominations online are open now and will stay open until the start of February.

The event is led by Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Bill Howatson. He said: “Inspiring Aberdeenshire is fast becoming a flag-ship event. It is something fundamental to our year and I know that all who attend look forward to it. What makes it so powerful is the reaction from those who have been nominated. Often, they will have been working hard to support their family or their community for a number of years and never considered their efforts as particularly worthy of recognition. To watch the other guests react to their work, and to see them realise how special they are, is a real privilege.”

Nominations are open until 8 February, after which the person who nominated each finalist will be contacted so they can share the good news.

Nomination link:

This year, not only can you nominate to help your heroes get recognised, but you can also be in with a chance to win £50 towards the cost of Christmas. Every valid nomination received before noon on Thursday 20 Dec will be put in a random draw to win £50 shopping voucher, to spend on festive treats, the turkey, or maybe just to treat yourself*. A further draw will take place in January.

For a nomination to be valid, and to progress to the judging stage, it is important to include your own contact details, the name of your nominee or group and some information about why you are nominating them, what they did or do. The more information the better, every story helps the judges get a picture of the whole range of great work happening every day.

Provost Howatson added: “I would encourage everyone to think about the range of people in their life or in their community. We all know a local hero, someone without whom things just wouldn’t be the same. This is a great opportunity to help them see their true value.” 

The categories for the 2019 awards are:

The ‘Heart of Aberdeenshire’ Caring Award
To be awarded to a person who has had a significant positive impact on the life(s) of a vulnerable person(s).  Nominees will care for others, either through the course of their employment, for a family member or as a volunteer carer.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: This award was won at the 2018 awards by a woman who has been a youth worker in Inverurie for the past 15 years, described in her nomination as “the most caring person I know”.

The Inspirational Volunteer Award
To be awarded to an individual or group who have gone the extra mile by volunteering for a local initiative that makes a difference to the lives of others or communities.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: in 2018, this award was won by a Turriff woman who, after serving in the RAF for more than 20 years, has thrown herself into the community in which she grew up, supporting the Friends of Turriff Cemetery, the RAF association, as well as being active on the community council, and the community singers.  

The ‘Local Hero’ Courage Award
To be awarded to an individual who in the face of adversity has shown courage, bravery and dedication to helping to overcome a difficult situation.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: This award was won this year by a well-known Banff youngster who is passionate about helping kids from a care-experienced background to have a voice. The judges agreed that having come from a background of care herself, it took strength, courage and determination to stand up so firmly for her cause.  

The ‘Beautiful Aberdeenshire’ Environmental Award
To be awarded to an individual or group who is working hard to help nurture and enhance our area’s natural beauty through environmental initiatives.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: This award last year was won by a teacher from Newtonhill Primary School who has worked, both in school and outside, to keep the community thinking “green” in everything they do. 

The Community Spirit Award
To be awarded to an individual or group who have supported a cause or project which helps to foster a spirited, embracing and vibrant local community.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: This award was won this year by a Peterhead woman, described as being “stand-out” in her community. She has clocked thousands of hours of volunteering, championing local causes, and makes a real and tangible difference to people’s lives.

The Cultural Award
This award will be presented to an individual or community group who has made an excellent contribution to the promotion of local culture in Aberdeenshire.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: In 2018, this award was scooped by a group who run a Scottish-music based week in the school holidays for pupils across central Aberdeenshire, to promote traditional music, drama and dance weeks, concerts and workshops.

Aberdeenshire’s Future Award
This award is presented to a young individual (under 25) who has shown great leadership and helped to inspire and motivate others in support of a local cause.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: At the 2018 awards, this was the second trophy for the winner of the Local Hero Award, to celebrate a young person who is using her own personal experiences to help other people in a way that is both admirable and inspirational.

The Inspiring Aberdeenshire Lifetime Achievement Award
This award will be presented to an individual who over the course of a number of years has made an outstanding contribution to a local cause, project or initiative, and is a true inspiration to others across Aberdeenshire.

To help ‘Inspire’ you: At the 2018 awards, this closed the night with a standing ovation. The room was on its feet to thank a Deeside couple, who despite being in their 80s have given a lifetime to their community. The range of ways in which they have helped over the years is remarkable.

The awards will be handed out at the awards evening at Haddo House on 21 June 2018.