It is the time of year again when we celebrate the heroes and heroines within our community, as the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards return for their ninth year.

Today, we take a look back at last year's Overall Star and Unsung Heroine, Karen Fulcher.

Working relentlessly through the toughest months of the pandemic to make scrubs, washbags and masks for healthcare workers who needed more sets than ever, Mrs Fulcher won over the judges to secure her two well-deserved awards in 2020.

After hearing from her son, who worked for a charitable trust at the NHS, that it was short of scrubs, Mrs Fulcher, of Newbegin Road, in Norwich, created and donated 164 sets of scrubs and more than 500 washbags and masks.

With the help from her community donating old sheets and materials, the finished garments were sent out to NHS organisations by post at her own expense.

Upon receiving her awards, Mrs Fulcher said: "It's amazing. I'm totally shocked. It means everything, all of the hours spent making scrubs, and all of the stories I’ve heard means the world.

"I was just doing what I was doing, I didn’t expect this. The awards will take pride of place, both certificates in the living room."

The judges said: “Karen was not only spending her day as a frontline worker, but she would spend her evenings making scrubs and face masks by hand, for them to be used by local doctors and nurses and help the NHS.

“Her actions were over and above in a time of real crisis and made a tremendous difference for nurses and doctors, helping them to safely deliver patient care.

“The selfless actions of Karen Fulcher really epitomised the kindheartedness we have seen across the UK, and indeed the world, in this year like no other.”

Do you know someone who should be nominated for this year's awards? A star in your community who has made an impact on the lives of others? Submissions are now open online here!