ONE of last year’s Pride of Bracknell Awards winners believes they prove the town is a 'great place to live’.

Nominations are starting to pour in for the unsung heroes who make a difference to the community.

The awards celebrate the selfless work done by residents and groups around Bracknell, with the champions honoured at a gala dinner in April.

Paula Ridgway, from Great Hollands, was crowned Adult Volunteer champion in 2013.

She has been involved with Home-Start Bracknell Forest for 14 years, first as a home visiting volunteer, and then as chairman of trustees for 10 years until 2012.

She said: “I felt so privileged to be part of it. When you look around you see wonderful people who make Bracknell a great place to live.

“Volunteering is great fun and it makes a difference.It also makes your life much better.” After collecting the award, she said she felt like “Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars!” In her nomination of Mrs Ridgway, Tessa Dove described her as “passionate about supporting families” and a “very willing volunteer at all our events”.

She said: “She is a wonderful ambassador for the charity.

The awards – which are now in their ninth year – are organised by the Midweek’s sister paper the Bracknell News, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership and other supporters.

Nominations are open until Friday, March 28, and categories include voluntary, business, education and sport.

After the closing date, judges will select a shortlist of contenders who will be invited, along with a guest, to Bracknell and Wokingham College for the presentation evening on Friday, April 25.

College students will provide musical and theatrical entertainment, and also help out with the catering and serving of food.

Readers can put forward their heroes by filling out the form to the right or by going to www.bracknellnews/pride The categories are: l Young community volunteer l Adult community volunteer l Voluntary group l My Hero l Retail Hero l Sporting champion (adults) l Young sporting champion l Education champion l Child of courage l Good citizen