GRANT giving charity, Talbot Village Trust, has been announced as the headline sponsor of the Daily Echo’s Dorset Hero Awards, which are set to take place later this year.

The Dorset Hero Awards celebrate people in the local community that have recently gone above and beyond to support others.

The virtual event includes 10 awards, split into four different categories focusing on healthcare, emergency services and our everyday heroes. Readers of the Dorset Echo and its sister titles in the region will be invited to nominate individuals for each award.

The ceremony will be screened on Facebook on June 9 2021 and will be hosted by courageous Falklands War survivor Simon Weston CBE, who will also be accompanied by celebrity guests.

As one of the area’s leading benefactors, Talbot Village Trust, will be the headline sponsor of the inaugural awards. They say they are “honoured and excited” to be involved.

The Trust provides grants to organisations based around the county. No scheme is considered too big or small, as long as it is a capital project promoted by a charity, church, school or college.

The board of Trustees meets twice a year to consider applications and allocate funding to various groups in the area. In the last five years, Talbot Village Trust has allocated just under £8,000,000 of funding to various groups in the area.

Recently, the Trust launched its COVID-19 Support Fund, which provided 120 organisations and charities with funding totalling over £1.1million. Examples of recipients include Julia’s House, Dorset Mind, Bournemouth Foodbank and Dorset Reclaim.

Christopher Lees, Chairman of the Trustees, commented: “During the current times, it is important to recognise and honour those who have made a significant difference to other people’s lives. We understand that now more than ever, that the role our local community plays in our daily lives is invaluable.

“The Trust has great synergy with the awards; when the opportunity came up to support the event and celebrate the great work of our local heroes, we thought it would be a natural fit for us. We are looking forward to supporting this event and virtually meeting our local heroes.”

Strictly Come Dancing star judge Craig Revel Horwood is the latest celebrity to sign up to the awards.

He will be among the celebrity guests who will introduce the three categories in what is likely to prove one of the most amazing online events of the year.

Craig will be joining the host of the event, Simon Weston CBE, when it is screened later in the summer.

Craig, whose dancing career has taken him around the world, is the only judge to have been in all 18 series of the BBC dance show and is sometimes accused of being a mean marker. But he’s given the Echo ten-out-of-ten for staging the awards.

Dorset Echo will be shortly be asking our readers to nominate the people who they think are most deserving of these awards.

And Simon has filmed a video at home in in Cardiff asking people to give the event their backing.

In the video Simon says: “I’m sure many of you will know my story and how my life changed forever when a bomb struck my ship during the Falklands War.

“Some have called me a hero, but I will leave that for others to decide. My experience was something I could do little about and since that time almost forty years ago I have made it my goal to help the people I see as the real heroes in life.”

He says he hopes as many people as possible will join him and the other celebrities when the event is screened on June 9.