LH 2014 gala night group JS38594960Pictured: Our Superheroes 2014 - (left to right) Scott and Margaret Dick; Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College; Shenaz Mohamed; Stephanie Bayford (who also won the Superhero of Hillingdon prize); Noel, Nick Gore and Pete from Recycle-a-Bike; Lyn Hanlon and Alan Hayes, Gazette News Editor.

It was an inspirational and emotional night as Hillingdon's Local Heroes were recognised for their hard work, courage, dedication and selflessness.

Uxbridge College in Hayes played host to the annual Local Heroes Awards night on 5 June.

The twelfth annual awards, run by Uxbridge College in partnership with the Uxbridge Gazette, commended the unsung heroes of the borough who go the extra mile to help others, perhaps by volunteering, fundraising, providing extra support to family members, or helping their community.

The awards were split in two sections; under 18s and adults. There were three award categories in each; Highly Commended, Hero and Superhero. Superheroes received a trophy and £200, Heroes £50 prizes, and Highly Commended winners were presented with a certificate.

The overall winner, the Superhero of Hillingdon – 18-year-old Stephanie Bayford of Hillingdon - was chosen from the five Superheroes and received an additional £500. Stephanie set up and runs a group called 'Little Specials' for children with special needs or life-shortening illnesses and their families, funding everything from her wages at a special needs school.

Stephanie’s award was announced by Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Allan Kauffman and his wife Lyn, who appeared in a pre-recorded video as they were unable to attend the night.

The awards were announced and presented in the campus theatre, part of the College's performing arts facilities, and a celebration reception held in Revisco restaurant. Food was made, cooked and served by professional cookery students in the restaurant, which is open to the public for lunch during term time.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “This has been a terrific year for Local Heroes and has really underlined the importance of family and community in Hillingdon. Here we see so many people helping and supporting others in so many ways, and it has been wonderful to bring them under one roof and celebrate what they do. It’s been a real privilege to be part of this competition yet again.”

Alan Hayes, News Editor of the Uxbridge Gazette series, said: "Once again, our readers delivered a worthy set of Local Heroes Awards finalists, making the judges' job very difficult indeed.

"After a life-affirming and heart-warming night on Thursday last week at Uxbridge College in Hayes, I think their decisions were justified: our Heroes, Superheroes and ultimate Superhero of Hillingdon met everyone's approval and showed once again that we have some amazing people quietly getting on with doing some amazing things in this community, and I'd like to salute them all."

For more coverage and photos of the event go to http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/uxbridge-gazette-local-heroes-2014-7226034

Stephanie Bayford

SUPERHERO: Stephanie Bayford

HERO: Casey Burke

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Alexander and Daniel Bisland

SUPERHEROES: Scott and Margaret Dick, Lyn Hanlon, Shenaz Mahomed, Recycle-a-Bike

HEROES: Ken & Gill Anstiss, Dot Bryant, John Davies, Friends of Eastcote House Gardens, Ann Greenaway, Alia Jones, Matt Martin, Jagjit 'Marathon' Singh, Tejinder Singh Soor,

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Caroline Earley, Lynn Galvin, Doreen McIntyre, Andrew Riley, Ann Sargent, Specialist Care Services, George Tomlin, Alison Vaughan, Phyllis Robinson.