IT has been a year like no other. 2020 has tested us in ways we could never have imagined.

The pandemic has affected all of our lives – our children’s education, the businesses and jobs we rely on and our friendships and relationships with loved ones.

And it has brought heartache and hardship to many families across Wyre Forest.

But amid adversity, great strength and resilience has been shown across our towns and in our local communities.

Neighbours and even strangers have stepped up to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society don’t go without, and our admiration for the NHS and other key workers has been magnified.

We know the pandemic is not yet over, but with news of a mass vaccine programme now anticipated sooner than first predicted there is fresh optimism for a brighter 2021.

With that in mind, we've joined forced with Wyre Forest Rotary Clubs - Bewdley, Stourport and Kidderminster - to give praise to the selfless heroes of our community who have helped to keep others going throughout this difficult year. The Shuttle has published dozens of good deed stories during the crisis but we know there are many more worthy people, businesses and charities that we have not yet written about.

We are looking for the community groups, individuals and businesses that have kept people safe and well throughout the lockdowns. We want to hear about the most deserving community initiatives and the local lifelines that you’ve turned to in times of need.

Bewdley Rotary club president Graham Bullock said: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local community has been overwhelming. The vast majority of Wyre Forest’s businesses have either been closed or suffering severe operating restrictions since March 23, leaving many in the community worried and uncertain about the future.

"Despite that, a number of small, local businesses and individuals have adapted to the conditions and have found ways of keeping themselves in business and meeting the needs of local people.

“Wyre Forest Rotary Clubs, Bewdley, Stourport and Kidderminster, in conjunction with The Kidderminster Shuttle, want to find those heroes of our community and recognise their contribution to keeping us safe and well.”

To nominate a lockdown hero, readers need only fill out our online nomination form, telling us why that person or business is deserving of some recognition.

We’ll be publishing your nominations in the paper each week and Wyre Forest Rotary will award certificates to those who have gone that extra mile to help their community.

To tell us about your lockdown hero, click here fill out the form before the deadline on Sunday, January 31.

For more information, email or call us on 01384 358262.

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