Nominations open for £5,000 'local hero' awards

Communities across the country can now nominate 'local heroes' who have taken a stand against vandals, thugs and noisy neighbours for awards worth up to £5,000.

This year's 'Taking A Stand Awards' will recognise individuals and local groups who have shown commitment and bravery in tackling problems like vandalism, nuisance neighbours, graffiti, intimidation and rubbish dumping.

The overall winner will receive £5,000 and another 100 winners will get £1,000 to fund their projects. Winners will also be offered a specialist programme to help build their skills in tackling other local problems and helping people in a similar situation. Last year's overall winners had worked to tackle anti-social behaviour in Oldham.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 sends out a "strong message" that anti-social behaviour will be tackled not tolerated.

"Backed up by these tough new laws communities can work together to tackle anti-social behaviour and restore an area's pride for the benefit of the law-abiding majority... We want to reward those people who are saying enough is enough," she said.

Individuals and community groups can nominate local heroes by calling 0800 085 2980 or visiting www.takingastand.org

The deadline for nominations is September 28 and the award ceremony will take place in December.

The awards are being held in partnership with Crime Concern and the Co-op, and nomination forms will be available in Co-op stores.


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