We are just days away from hosting our Forging a Future for All Awards 2019.

The awards, launched by the Halesowen & Dudley News and the Stourbridge News, in conjunction with Dudley Council, seek to reward those who go the extra mile to ensure Dudley borough is a fantastic place to live, work and visit.

And just like with our inaugural event last year, we have been truly overwhelmed by the number of great nominations we have received.

After considering a huge number of entries, the finalists for each category have finally been decided by the judges.

Those shortlisted in each category are:

  • Improving the Local Environment Award (individual) - Sponsored by Ryemarket Shopping Centre - Kaye Highway; Les Drinkwater; Jean Green
  • Improving the Local Environment Award (group) - Friends of Alder Coppice; Razza Rats; Saltwells Clean and Green
  • Outstanding Contribution to Education Award - Sponsored by Fairmont Residential - High Acres Woodcraft Folk; Margaret Rodgers and Peter Pan Pre School; Skills Training UK Dudley Centre
  • Young Achiever Award - Sponsored by Gaunts of Wollaston - Katie Thomas; Kesia Blake; Roma Chattha
  • Community Award - Sponsored by Dudley Canal & Tunnels Trust - Melvyn Blackmore; Shaz Saleem; Vi Wood
  • Healthy & Safe Communities Award - Sponsored by NHS Dudley - Julia Marks from Friends of Wollescote Park; Lauren Millard from Dudley Young Health Champions; Stevens Park Junior Parkrun
  • Digital Innovation Award - Sponsored by Cushillo Personnel - School Life; Working Together for Change
  • Rising Apprentice Star Award - Sponsored by Dudley College of Technology - Lori Arthurs; Tracey Jackson; Debbie Willetts
  • Business of the year Award - Sponsored by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council - Advanced Accountancy; Educational Psychology for Everyone Ltd; Got to Sing choir
  • Visitor Attraction Volunteer of the Year - Phil Harris from Black Country Living Museum
  • Visitor Attraction Lifetime Achievement Award - Sponsored by Tipton & Coseley Building Society - Cliff Sherwood from Dudley Canal Tunnel Trust; Denise George from Black Country Living Museum
  • Town Centre Unsung Hero - Sponsored by Advanced Accountancy - David Harcourt from Stourbridge Chamber of Trade; Michelle Zoe from Lye Stories Project
  • Transport Support Award - Severe Weather Volunteer Jayne Gordon

The winners will be revealed at a glitzy black tie event at The Copthorne Hotel, Merry Hill, on Thursday (November 28).

Our thanks again go to our generous sponsors - Cushillo Personnel, Dudley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Dudley College of Technology, Fairmont Residential, Gaunts of Wollaston, the Tipton and Coseley Building Society, Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust, Advanced Accountancy Midlands, the Ryemarket shopping centre, Lapal House and the Rotary Club of Dudley - whose support helped make the awards possible.

Stephanie Preece, editor of the Stourbridge News and the Halesowen & Dudley News, said: “We are again really excited to be teaming up with Dudley Council to bring you these awards.

“Dudley is such a great place to live, work and visit and we feel these awards help to celebrate that.

“The Halesowen & Dudley News and Stourbridge News is very proud of the borough and the people and organisations who work so hard to make the vision a reality.”

The awards help celebrate Dudley Council’s Forging a Future vision of the kind of place Dudley borough wants to be by 2030.