IT has been such a tough 12 months but selfless Swindonians and hardworking heroes have made a big difference to so many lives around the town.

Now it's time to give these kind-hearted souls the recognition they deserve by nominating them for a Pride of Swindon award.

The Swindon Male Voice Choir won an award during the 2019 ceremony for their community work and for reaching a milestone 100th anniversary.

Gordy Smith said: "Sending the members the certificates for the award was a real boost, the guys were so chuffed and it meant so much to them, I can't thank you all enough."

Organisers are expecting a lot of entries this time as the pandemic prompted an outpouring of volunteering efforts and community action to support the vulnerable and those in need during an international health crisis.

Stephen Trowbridge from nursing and care provider First City said: "The last 20 months have been tough - we've seen it because we've worked through it and we have noticed the community come together to support each other.

"I'm looking forward to reading the applications about inspiring people who don't want thanks, they just do it because that's who they are. I'm so proud to be part of this."

Mayor Garry Perkins added: "I know people who were overwhelmed just to be nominated, let alone win.

"It does a lot for them and helps them to get to the next stage of their involvement in community work.

"I know a lot of groups in Swindon but it never ceases to amaze me how many there are, there are always ones which are new to me that I'd never heard of before.

"It seems like almost all of the 260,000 people in Swindon are involved in some sort of volunteering, it's amazing."

Entries can be sent in at any time between today and February 14 - then judges will have the difficult task of whittling them down to a shortlist in March before the awards are presented during a ceremony held at the County Ground later that year.

The awards are supported by Swindon 105.5, the Zurich Community Trust, Swindon Town FC, Swindon Link, Voluntary Action Swindon, First City, McDonald's, the mayor of Swindon, and Swindon Borough Council.

Visit www.swindon/ or request a paper entry form by visiting Shop Mobility in the Sanford Street car park or Swindon 105.5's base near the Liden library.

Entry forms in other languages are available on request - contact Voluntary Action Swindon on 01793 538398 or