A partnership between The Wimbledon Guardian and Merton Borough Council, with sponsorship from a number of top businesses from across the borough, has seen the event officially launched.

Expanding upon the existing Mayor of Merton’s Civic Awards, which were run biannually, the event will celebrate the excellent work done by individuals, groups and businesses across the borough.

Nominations from the public on nine separate categories will be collected between now and February next year, with a shortlist created of the most worthy candidates ahead of a ceremony at The Wimbledon Studios in April.

The Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Williams said: "I want to pay tribute to those who make a valuable contribution in our community so it makes sense to continue the Merton Civic Awards by teaming up with the Local Guardian. This will ensure recognition for the work of those who make a significant difference to the people who live work and learn in Merton."

Categories include: Young Persons Outstanding Achievement Award, Volunteer Award, Community Award, Carer Award, Teacher Award, Sporting Achievement Award, Arts & Entertainment Award, Business Award and Act of Courage.

Nomination forms will be available in council offices, libraries and inside copies of the Wimbledon Guardian. You can also download and print a nomination form or use the online form.

The Wimbledon Guardian will also showcase the stories behind the nominees every week, praising the work of Merton’s unsung heroes.

For more details visit our dedicated website www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/mertoncivicawards