The finalists of this year’s Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards have been whittled down from dozens of nominations for individuals, groups – and even animals.

Winners of the event, which celebrates unsung heroes from across the county, will be announced at a special afternoon event at Norwich Cathedral on Thursday, December 1.

The judges made difficult decisions at Norwich’s Prospect House, home of the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News.

Editor Richard Porritt, who was also one of the judges, said: "Once again, I've been blown away with the number of exceptional entrants for this year's awards.

"We are looking forward to sharing with you the stories behind each and every nominee and the amazing efforts they have gone to within their communities."

Judge Monika Hanlon, group sales and marketing director for headline sponsor Hopkins Homes, said: “The calibre of entrants was exceptional and it made judging really difficult. How do you determine who is more of a star when the region is filled with stars?

“There were so many worthy winners in each category - both individuals, teams, and even animals - and they were all outstanding.

“It has been an absolute privilege to be a judge and I thank everyone for sharing their stories. Hopkins Homes is also honoured to be the main sponsor of these awards, which show the best of the best in our communities.”

The 13 categories are:

  • Animal Hero of the Year, sponsored by Redwings Horse Sanctuary
  • Carer of the Year, sponsored by Norwich Evening News
  • Charity Hero of the Year, sponsored by K Foley Ltd trading as McDonald’s
  • Education Hero of the Year, sponsored by Step Teachers
  • Lifetime Commitment to the Community Award, sponsored by Norwich Theatre
  • NHS and Emergency Services Personnel of the Year, sponsored by LOCALiQ
  • Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year, sponsored by Superbowl UK Norwich
  • Team/Community Group of the Year, sponsored by Stephenson Smart
  • Unsung Community Hero of the Year, sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press
  • Young Person of the Year, sponsored by Old Buckenham Airshow
  • Judges' Special Award, sponsored by Norwich Cathedral
  • Overall Star of Norfolk and Waveney, sponsored by Hopkins Homes

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2021 at Finalists will be announced on Saturday, November 19, in a special supplement in the EDP.