The award categories for this year's The Great Big Thank You Awards 2017 are as follows:
Ambassador of the Year
This award will go to a person who has done the most to promote their Black Country /Staffordshire roots within their chosen charity, team or hobby.
They play a vital role within the local community and will have directly or indirectly promoted the region, helping others to learn more about the place we call home.
The trophy will go to someone who has served or inspired others or performed in an exceptional way as they have given something back to their community. They have gone the extra mile for the benefit of their community, helping it flourish. Without them, life would not be the same.
This award acknowledges the individual who has faced a personal challenge and emerged successfully from the experience.
They may have faced social issues or personal crises, either financial, medical, family or workwise.
Whatever life has thrown at this individual, they will not only have survived but now be making a positive contribution to their local community in some way, however small.
Fundraiser of the Year
There are often personal reasons why individuals decide to put time and effort into raising money for a particular cause.
This award is not necessarily about the amount of cash raised, it is more about the commitment involved.
Someone who has overcome obstacles and moved their life forward, an achiever who has learned new skills and developed their knowledge in their chosen field.
They may have gained a formal qualification, so opening the door to a fresh opportunity or use their new-found skills to help others.
Teacher of the Year
A teacher who inspires their pupils, encourages them to enjoy learning and does whatever they can to help them achieve their potential.
It could be someone who has spent decades at the same school or a newcomer to the profession who is already making a difference.
This award will go to an individual who regularly puts others before themselves and is generous with their time to support an individual or group.
Some people dedicate a significant proportion of their lives to helping others, receiving no financial reward.
This is their chance to be recognised.
Young Star Award
This award celebrates the young person, aged 16 or under, who has gone above and beyond in achieving their goals in the past 12 months.
They may have inspired others by dedicating time and effort to help people – or become a leading light in their sport or hobby. Indeed they may have faced adversity through an accident or illness and come out stronger the other side.