FOR the second year in a row we are looking for the unsung heroes of Dudley.

The Forging a Future for All Awards 2019 have been launched by the Mayor of Dudley Cllr David Stanley and the editor of the Stourbridge News and Halesowen & Dudley News Stephanie Preece.

The launch marked the start of this year's hunt for the special individuals and groups whose sterling work marks them as true heroes and champions of Dudley Metropolitan Borough, making it the best place to live and work.

The awards consist of 13 categories: Improving the Local Environment (individual); Improving the Local Environment (group/organisation); Outstanding Contribution to Education; Young Achiever; Community; Healthy and Safe Communities; Travel Support; Rising Apprentice Star of the Year; Business of the Year; Visitor Attraction Volunteer of the Year; Visitor Attraction Lifetime Achievement; Town Centre Unsung Hero/es of the Year and Digital Innovation Award.

They will culminate in a glitzy black-tie dinner reception at the Copthorne Hotel in Merry Hill on Thursday, November 28.

The Halesowen & Dudley News and Stourbridge News in partnership with the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council are delighted to be bringing the Forging a Future for all Awards back to the borough for a second year.

Editor Stephanie Preece said: "Last year's event was truly inspirational. It's a pleasure to be able to shine a light on some of the great work that is being done in our community.

"This year we are committed to making the awards even bigger and better. We can't wait to receive nominations and start telling the stories of those who dedicate so much time and effort into making Dudley a fantastic place to live, work and visit."

The awards categories are based on Dudley Council's Forging a Future for All vision, which sets out its aspirations for the kind of place Dudley borough wants to be in 2030.

The vision was developed by organisations following engagement with the community, including residents, businesses, faith groups and voluntary sector organisations, sets out seven key aspirations.

The aspirations include ensuring Dudley borough is an attractive and affordable place to live and visit, with vibrant and diverse towns being home to healthy and safe communities. It also emphasises the importance of high quality schools and colleges to provide the skilled workforce to help innovative businesses prosper in a better connected borough both in terms of transport links and through digital technology.

Launching the awards in the Mayor's Parlour, Cllr Stanley said:"We are working to bring to life the vision in the Forging a Future for All awards and we are delighted to have the support of Newsquest.

"We are looking forward to working together with all of you as sponsors to highlight the excellent work of individuals, organisations and businesses who are doing great things in this borough to help forge ahead with its future for all."

This year's awards are being organised in conjunction with Dudley Council and several local businesses have already pledged their support by sponsoring different categories including Dudley College of Technology, Fairmont Residential, Dudley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group; Gaunts of Wollaston Funeral Directors; The Tipton & Coseley Building Society; Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust; and Lapal House.

To get involved by either nominating someone for an award or to enquire about sponsorship visit