Do you know a local hero who deserves to be recognised for helping make the Fylde coast a better place to live?
There are so many reasons why we should all be proud to live in this part of Lancashire – but its the incredible people who make it such a great place to live and work.
As our local landmark, the Blackpool Tower, celebrates its 125th anniversary later this month, The Gazette is partnering with Merlin Entertainments to mark the occasion.
We want to find 125 local heroes – one for every year the Tower has been standing – to join the celebrations.
The Tower’s arrival changed the landscape of Blackpool beyond recognition and now it’s only fitting that people who have also made a difference to the region’s social landscape are honoured as part of the world-famous attraction’s festivities.
Gillian Parkinson, editorial director of JPI Media North West, which owns The Gazette, said: “Much like the iconic Blackpool Tower, we are proud to have been part of life on the Fylde coast for more than 100 years.
“We have a great history of campaigning for and celebrating the wonderful people who live and work here so it is fantastic to be able to team up with Blackpool Tower and Merlin to launch the 125 Local Heroes campaign.
“We see every day how people are giving back to the community and we want to hear from our readers about the people you think deserve to be celebrated.”
We’re now asking you to nominate someone you think deserves recognition.
The Local Heroes campaign will honour the talented and the brave, the compassionate and the determined.
It will shine a light on these people’s stories and honour their achievements.
The 125 Local Heroes will be honoured and recognised in The Gazette and also invited to a VIP celebratory afternoon tea at the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom in September.
Your local hero could be a young carer who goes above and beyond, an army veteran, a long-serving lollipop lady, a dedicated charity fund-raiser, or someone who has been instrumental in creating better facilities for the town.
Maybe it is someone who is an all-round good citizen, or a person who quietly supports neighbours and their community.
We want to hear your stories of these tireless local heroes.
These unsung individuals are our true heroes and should be an inspiration to us all.
So please get in touch, share your uplifting stories and help us shine a spotlight on those wonderful people among us who deserve some recognition for all they do.
How you can nominate a local hero
If you know someone who deserves to be recognised as a local hero, it’s easy to get in touch.
It takes only a couple of minutes to fill in the online nomination form available at www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org giving us the name of your nominee and why you think they should be one of our 125 Local Heroes.
Add your name, address and telephone number plus the name and telephone number of the person you are nominating, if you have these details.
The closing date for nominations Friday July 5. Standard JPI Media competition rules apply. Please give permission for us to contact you regarding your nomination, by putting YES on your email entry.
Your details will only be used for the purposes of this promotion and not be passed to a third party or used for marketing purposes.
Selfless Elaine embodies the spirit of the campaign
Elaine Smith is a towering example of a local hero.
Dedicated to doing the very best for the area in which she lives and always willing to freely dedicate her time to that end, the sprightly 83-year-old embodies that selfless spirit that The Gazette and Merlin Entertainments’ 125 Local Heroes campaign was set up to celebrate.
Elaine, who took to volunteering almost 20 years ago following the death of her husband Jim, is chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park and president of Blackpool Civic Trust as well as being actively involved with a host of other organisations across the resort.
She thinks the Local Heroes scheme is a great idea – and is sure it will attract plenty of nominations of dedicated folk across the Fylde coast who really make a difference to their communities.
“Volunteers are crucial to the community and all sorts of organisations within it,” said Elaine.
“I think Blackpool would come to a standstill without them.
“This salute to local heroes is a wonderful idea and marvellous way to mark such an important anniversary in the history of the Tower.”
Elaine was secretary of the Civic Trust and had just retired after many years of running a seafront hotel when Jim died 19 years ago.
“I was offered the opportunity to do a little extra work as a volunteer and I would honestly have been lost without it,” she said.
“I really missed Jim and having something to dedicate my time to was so important to me. It got me through a very sad time.
“I get so much fulfilment out of giving something back to the town that gave me a good education and a good living.”
Elaine, who was especially delighted when Stanley Park – which she describes as the resort’s ‘jewel in the crown’ – was voted best park in the UK in the Friends in Trust Awards in 2017, was awarded the MBE 10 years ago for her services to the community.
She collected her medal at Buckingham Palace from Princess Anne, standing in for Queen, and when the Princess said of Blackpool: “They are doing wonderful things there at the moment aren’t they? Are you involved at all?”, Elaine modestly replied: “I try to do my bit.”
She certainly does.