The 2016 Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards has officially launched.
The ninth annual awards ceremony, co-sponsored by The Courier, promises to be the “biggest and best yet”, according to Kingdom FM station manager Darren Stenhouse.
Other main sponsors this year are Paint Tec, FMC Technologies, Pentland Land Rover Cupar, DPS Group, Forth Ports and Owen Buchanan Builders and Skips.
As representatives gathered at the Kingdom FM studios in Markinch, Mr Stenhouse said the support being given ahead of the glitzy awards night in August was invaluable.
He said: “Without the support of the main sponsors there could be no event.
“For me this is all about the local people that it recognises.
“For many of the sponsors it’s not all that unusual to be invited out to some corporate do, to put your glad rags on and have a night out.
“Lots of the nominees that we see at the local heroes ceremony, never get the chance to have a night like this and for them it truly is a special event.”
Mr Stenhouse said last August’s glitzy ceremony was “still being talked about”.
Entertainment then included the R3 Tenors and The Voice winner Stevie McCrorie.
“We set the bar pretty high last year”, he said.
“But we are aiming even higher this year and are already in talks with some top entertainment.”
Speaking to The Courier at the launch, several of the main sponsors explained why they were keen to be involved.
For husband and wife team Stuart and Lynda Campbell, who run Glenrothes-based Paint-Tec, it is their first year as a main sponsor.
Stuart said: “Paint-Tec is local to Fife. We rely on national companies to direct customers to us. It benefits us if local customers know about a local facility. We also get to give something back to the community.”
Lynda said: “We were aware of the awards last year when we started a business marketing strategy with Kingdom FM. We heardabout the local hero awards last year and I said at the time that’s something we’d like to be involved in, being a local company employing 20 local staff. So the opportunity arose back in January to get involved.”
David Webster, of Forth Ports, is manager of the Ports of Dundee, Methil and Kirkcaldy. He was joined in Markinch by Forth Ports business development manager Sharon Currie.
He said: “This is our third year as a sponsor. Forth Ports is a dynamic UK-based multi-zonal port owner and operator. Our Fife ports include Rosyth, Burntisland, Methil and Kirkcaldy. However, we also have Dundee, Leith and Grangemouth in Scotland and also Tilbury in London. Many of our employees are from the Kingdom of Fife.
“We believe the communities in which we live and work are very important. It’s the third year in which Forth Ports have proudly sponsored the Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards. These awards provide the opportunity to recognise the hard work and commitment that goes on throughout the year throughout the community.”
Fraser Thornhill and John Leitch were at the launch from Pentland Land Rover in Cupar.
The company has been a local award sponsor for three years, and this is the first year as a main sponsor.
Fraser said: “As a local business to get involved in this from a local point of view is a worthy cause. It’s not about us. It’s about what we can do for the community. It’s about payback to the community. Our business has been in Cupar now for almost 30 years.
“I think without a doubt the awards have grown over the years and the awareness it puts out for all the good causes and all the good work that people do that’s the main thing.”
John added: “I think it runs hand in hand that John Clark is a family owned business and does a lot for the community in various townships and the cities we are based in. These communities effectively keep us in a job. Keep us going. It’s nice to give something back.”
Colin Millar of the DPS Group said: “This is our fourth year as a main sponsor. The biggest motivation is because we are a local company we’ve all grown up in Fife, we’ve all lived in Fife. It’s about giving something back. The biggest aspect for us is the youngsters. In recent years the dancing singing and catering was all done by local youngsters at the awards.
“For us the biggest excitement is somebody coming to the event who’s probably never seen such an event and probably never been able to go to such a corporate event. For them to then win a prize, and see the happiness in their faces, that’s the biggest bonus.
“It’s such a professional, very well run night when it comes. It’s at the Rothes Halls but It’s like walking into a West End Show in London. It’s so good!”
Michael Alexander, representing The Courier, added: “The Courier is at the heart of the community in Fife. We have supported the Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards for many years. It is a great opportunity to recognise just a few of Fife’s many unsung heroes.”
See theKingdom FM websitefor more details.
The categories are ‘Child of Achievement’ (Skene Group); ‘Student/Apprentice of the Year’ (Fife College); ‘Provost Award’ (Fife Council/The Provost); ‘Sports Person of the Year’ (Police Scotland); ‘Fundraiser of the Year’ (Ceramic Tile Warehouse); ‘Mary Leishman Award’ (Mary Leishman); ‘Best School’ Award (MKM Building Supplies); ‘New Business Start-up’ (Business Gateway); ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ (Abbeyford Leisure); ‘Carer of the Year’ (Abbotsford Care Group); ‘Employee of the Year’ (DP Source); ‘Best Community’ (Diageo); ‘Green Initiative’ Award (St Andrews University); ‘Best Neighbour’ (Delmor Independent Estate Agents) and ‘Kingdom Kid Award’ (Thorntons Law).