Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh has praised events such as the Pride of Britain Awards for celebrating “actual superheroes”.
The singer said recognition of the “unbelievable stories” was “incredibly important”, especially during the current socio-political climate.
The annual ceremony, hosted by Carol Vorderman and Ashley Banjo, aims to celebrate the achievements of the nation’s unsung heroes.
Nominated by members of the public, they are whittled down to a shortlist from which the judging panel, made up of celebrated figures in national life, chooses the winners who are honoured at the Pride of Britain Awards at London’s Grosvenor House.
Among the star-studded judging panel this year are actor Michael Sheen, Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, Radio DJ Adele Roberts, as well as broadcasters Moira Stuart and Kate Garraway.
Famous faces including Idris Elba, Dame Mary Berry, Molly-Mae Hague, Tommy Fury, Olly Murs and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer also joined the winners to celebrate their heroism and bravery.
Arriving on the red carpet for the Pride of Britain Awards, Walsh told the PA news agency: “It’s incredibly important to honour these people, they are like actual superheroes.
“They’re out there doing crazy amazing things and I think we all just want to be here to show them that love and support and make them feel really special.”
She continued: “Regardless of everything that’s going on in the world, these people are stars and deserve to be celebrated and have this moment.”
Walsh’s former bandmate Nicola Roberts said she cleared the calendar every year for the event but that it was “heartbreaking” to attend without Sarah Harding, who died last September.
Host Banjo said the UK and the world “need all the love and positivity we can get”.
The Diversity star and presenter told PA: “Whether it be the political climate or the economic climate or what’s happening in the world, wherever we turn right now there seems to be something difficult to deal with.
“So that’s what’s interesting about tonight, all of these people have had something difficult to deal with and they’ve all come out of it and turned it into a positive.”
Murs hailed the event as an “emotional night” as he made his red carpet debut with fiance Amelia Tank.
The singer said he loved being able to “hear so many inspiring stories” from “real heroes”.
“It’s a lovely thing to be here for and share together… it’s such a lovely night, of course it’s very emotional as well,” he told PA.
Among those to be honoured at the awards is Jill Allen-King, who lost her sight on her wedding night aged 24 due to glaucoma and was sterilised at the urging of doctors.
Ms King, 82, from Southend-on-Sea, campaigned during her life for access for guide dogs in public spaces and became the first female president of the National Federation of the Blind UK.
She is due to receive the lifetime achievement award.
Schoolgirl Elizabeth Soffe, eight, wins the child of courage award for her charity run which raised £202,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which saved her life after a faulty air conditioner blaze set fire to her room and cot.
The Lionesses, England’s winning Euro 2022 football team, will be honoured with an inspiration award at this year’s ceremony for “galvanising” the nation and providing a generation with “new role models”.
Former England captain David Beckham was among the celebrities thanking the women’s team for the impact they have had, including on his 11-year-old daughter Harper.
The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards will be broadcast on ITV on October 27 at 8pm.