The award categories for this years The Great Big Thank You Awards 2016 #starthankyou are as follows:


Sponsored by:

university of wolverhampton logo

University investment to support your ambition
For over 180 years, the University of Wolverhampton, as the University of Opportunity has been providing students with a first class education. Over 500 courses help enhance student learning opportunities alongside award-winning teaching, state-of- the-art facilities, international partnerships, strong business links and world-leading research at the University’s main campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford.

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volunteer of the year icon

of the Year

This award is for someone who regularly puts others before themselves; someone who is generous with their time to support an individual or group.

This may be a junior member of our society who tirelessly works to raise money for a good cause. 

Some people dedicate their lives to helping others this way, and it can go unnoticed, it’s not necessarily about the amount of money raised, more the time given by the individual. 

This is their chance to be recognised.

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Sponsored by:

walsall housing group sponsor logo

 whg is one of the biggest developers not only in Walsall, but across the whole of the Midlands. Dedicated to the success of our people and places, we own and manage over 20,000 homes and play a pivotal role in regenerating and supporting local communities.

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neighbour of the year icon

Neighbour of the Year

This is somebody who always helps their neighbours when they are in need or works tirelessly to improve the area where they live for the benefit of everyone.  

It could be anything from the extraordinary to the very simple, or someone who has cared for their neighbours, helped them keep their neighbourhood safe or simply made a positive difference in their community.

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Sponsored by:

city of wolverhampton council sponsor logo

Education chiefs have thanked teachers, pupils and parents for their hard work which has helped ensure there has never been a better time to go to school in Wolverhampton. Educational outcomes for the city’s young people are rising across the board, a major transformation of the Wolverhampton’s secondary schools has given students and teachers state of the art learning environments, and more pupils than ever before are now studying at local schools which are rated either good or outstanding. 

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teacher of the year icon

teacher of the year

A teacher who inspires their pupils, encourages them to enjoy learning and does whatever they can to help them to 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. 

It could range from a teacher helping to make learning fun for primary school children to a tutor helping adults to learn new skills.

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Sponsored by:

wolves community trust icon

Wolves Community Trust, which was formed in 1991 and began operation as a registered charity in 2008, strives to have a positive impact throughout our community. It recognises the responsibility that professional football has to address local challenges and needs, with over 100 dedicated staff and volunteers promoting a healthy, safe, well-educated and physically active community, to help it become stronger and more inclusive.

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unsung sporting hero of the year icon


Sport is such as big part of the region and this award is the chance to give someone the recognition they deserve.  

This person could be somebody who is making strides in their chosen sport or somebody helping others to achieve by giving up their own time to train or mentor someone else.

It could be someone working behind the scenes such as grounds staff or caretakers.

nominate now


Sponsored by:

express and star sponsor logo

The Express & Star is proud to launch the Great Big Thank You Awards 2016.
Britain’s biggest selling regional newspaper values its unique role in celebrating individuals and
organisations who have made an unrivalled positive contribution to local life.
The awards will thank the unsung heroes of the region at a ceremony in January. The Express & Star prides itself in helping local communities and has delivered a number of key community campaigns including Cash For Your Community a fund for local good causes, apprentices drive Ladder for the Black Country and the Green Shoots Fund for local

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angel of the year icon

ANGEL of the Year

This special someone has either dedicated their life to helping others, be it in a professional or voluntary capacity. 

They will have demonstrated commitment and maybe even gone beyond the call of duty.  

It could be anyone from a carer who has looked after a friend or relative at their time of need to a member of the emergency services making a difference every day.

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Sponsored by:

wolverhampton grand theatre icon

Wolverhampton Grand is a long established theatre in the heart of the Midlands. It receives a wide range of major touring productions including drama, musicals, ballet, dance, opera, variety, concerts, children's shows and one of the biggest pantomimes in the UK, with audiences from across the region and beyond taking advantage of excellent transport links to the town. 

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ambassador of the year icon

AMBASSADOR of the Year

This award recognises the person who has done the most to promote their local roots within their chosen charity, team or hobby.

They play a vital role within the community, and not necessarily from a business perspective. 

They will have directly or indirectly promoted the region and helped encourage others to learn more about the place that we call home.

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Sponsored by:

alto digital logo

Altodigital is an independent office technology business that has had a strong presence in the West Midlands for over 20 years now.

The heart and soul of Altodigital’s successful team is its people, with more than 150 individuals from the community employed at its branch in the Pensnett Industrial Estate, Kingswinford.

Tim Hubbard, Business Development Director at Altodigital, who has been at the branch since the beginning said, “Over time our workforce in the area has grown considerably, and with such a large group of dedicated local staff, community engagement is really high on our agenda. 

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inspirational leader of the year icon


This could be leader who goes the extra mile to help their staff, team, group or organisation succeed.  

This person could be recognised as a champion of a local community, someone who always leads by example. This person is not afraid to roll up their own sleeves when needed. 

It may be someone who has led or inspired a team through a tough time, or perhaps guided them on a journey to the top of their field.

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Sponsored by

tile choice sponsor logo

As the largest independent tile retailer in the country, Tile Choice has become known for its industry-leading service, products and designs. So, it’s no surprise that the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in business this year. Established in 1991, Tile Choice quickly established an excellent reputation and impressive customer base, which saw the business expand rapidly across the local area and beyond.

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young star of the year icon

YOUNG STAr of the Year

This award celebrates the young person who has gone above and beyond in achieving their goals in the past 12 months.  

This could be anything from being an inspiration to others by dedicating time and effort to help people to being a leading light in their sport or hobby. This person may have faced adversity through an accident or illness and has come out stronger the other side. 

This is the chance to recognise their efforts.

nominate now


Sponsored by:

qatar airways sponsor logo BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT SPONSORS LOGO

Qatar Airways inaugurated the airline’s fourth UK gateway on 30th March 2016, with direct flights between Doha and Birmingham, connecting the city with more than 150 destinations worldwide. The Birmingham route is operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats. All seats include individual television screens, with Economy Class customers benefiting from a screen 10.6 inches wide, offering the latest in-flight entertainment comprised of up to 3,000 options, complimented by the airline’s award-winning service. With eight flights a week, including two flights on a Saturday, Qatar Airways recognises the growth and demand represented by this important region in the U.K.

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community champion of the year icon


This is the showpiece award in the event - this is somebody who has served, inspired or performed wonderfully as they have given something back to their community over the course of the year. 

 This person really goes the extra mile for the benefit of their community, putting it on the map and helping it to flourish. 

They are at the heart of their community and without them it just wouldn’t be the same.

nominate now


Sponsored by:

signal 107fm logo

Signal 107 (formerly 107.7 The Wolf) is the local radio station for Wolverhampton, that is very proud to have been part of the City since 1997. Still based in Mander House and part of Wireless Group, one of the UK’s largest media companies which also owns talkSPORT and Virgin Radio, Signal 107 is the only commercial radio station to still have it’s studios and offices within the city.

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grandparent of the year icon

GRANDPARENT(S) of the Year

This is the chance for grandchildren to say thank you for all of the love, help and support they receive from their grandparent or grandparents.  

It could go beyond what is expected of a grandparent, stepping in to help with a family crisis, or simply being there at times of need.  

They could be actively involved in the community, maybe being involved in the running of a children’s club or another community organisation.

nominate now