The annual search for community heroes is launched today by Jewish News!

John Coleman's daughter receives his JN hero award

John Coleman’s daughter receives his JN hero award

The initiative, in partnership with Mitzvah Day, aims to showcase the efforts of individuals who have performed an extraordinary act of kindness over the past 12 months or worked tirelessly over many years to help those in need.

Previous winners include mum-of-two Sandra Hamilton, whose charity Cure Cancer at UCL has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for research.

Last year’s winner John Coleman scooped the Community Hero title at the age of 85 for his varied voluntary work including mentoring young offenders and working with Samaritans. 

John Coleman, the winner of the award from 2013

John Coleman, the winner of the award from 2013

This year’s judging panel features Ilford North MP Lee Scott, who said it was a “huge honour” to be involved in an initiative that ensures these heroes get the “recognition they deserve”.

Other judges are JBD chief executive Hazel Kaye, Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks and Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer.

Marks said: “Each year we are humbled by the heroes who emerge from this award. Our community is blessed by people the number of people who dedicate themselves to helping others, often the obstacles that come their way.

Mitzvah Day is so delighted to again be partnering on this project. I can’t wait to meet the nominees.”

Ferrer added: “Jewish News is delighted to once again have an opportunity to shine a light on the amazing efforts of these unsung individuals whose day-to-day work contributes so much to the lives of others both inside and outside our community.”

Our finalists will be revealed across two issues of Jewish News next month before the winner is announced at the conclusion of Mitzvah Day on 16 November – when thousands of people give their time to support good causes across the country.

* To submit a nomination for Community Hero 2014, email richardf@thejngroup.com, explaining in no more than 200 words why your candidate deserves the title.

Closing date has been extended until 29 October.