NOMINATIONS are open for the Pride of St Helens Awards 2023 – sponsored by the Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group – as we look to recognise our town’s amazing people and organisations.

We're calling on our readers to come forward with the stories of heroism, courage, brilliance and achievement from over the past year.

This year Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium will again be turned into the glittering venue for the awards night on Friday, November 24.

St Helens Star: Britain's Got Talent performer Jamie Leahey, pictured with puppet Chuck, was among the winners in 2022

The year 2023 is a special one for St Helens as it marks a series of major anniversaries for local institutions including St Helens rugby league club's 150th celebrations, the St Helens Star's 50th birthday, the 100th anniversary of St Helens Rotary, the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the St Helens Council of Voluntary Service, and the 100th birthday of Haydock Male Voice Choir.

St Helens is also the region's Borough of Culture for 2023, meaning it is year when a particular focus is on the people, places and organisations that make our community what it is.

The Pride of St Helens Awards will look to reflect the significance of the year with its awards night.

The first celebration of the town’s community stars took place in 2012 and was declared a resounding success – prompting organisers the Steve Prescott Foundation and the St Helens Star to make it an annual fixture.

This will be the 11th Pride of St Helens award.

St Helens Star:

Martin Blondel, general manager of the SPF, said: “Our mission – and what Steve Prescott wanted in 2012 when the awards were founded – was to create a truly spectacular celebration of what is best about St Helens and to raise aspiration and self belief among people across the borough. Never has this been more important than in 2023, which is such an important year for St Helens.

"Life continues to be challenging, with the cost of living crisis following on the back of the pandemic, so it's all the more important that we recognise those who are making a difference and making us proud.

"As always, want to thank sponsors for their kind support, which will ensure the event goes ahead."

Past winners of the flagship Pride of St Helens Award have included triple amputee ex-soldier Andy Reid, charity Willowbrook Hospice, Marie McCourt, the Lilac Centre, Johnny Vegas, as well as Saints greats Paul Wellens and James Roby.

This year has already witnessed some great achievements for the town, especially on the sporting front as Michael Smith was crowned darts world champion and Saints became the rugby league world club champions in Australia.

St Helens Star:

Andrew Kilmurray, editor of the St Helens Star, added: “Stories of courage, talent, generosity, achievement and efforts against the odds are the essence of these awards, which we are delighted to say have now been running for more than a decade.

“It saddens me on occasions to hear people say dismissively ‘what is there to be proud about in St Helens?’, when in reality there is so much to admire – including many achievements that have come despite the odds being against us.

“We have a rich seam of talent – people who live in the St Helens borough or who have grown up here and then spread their wings to achieve extraordinary things. We've seen plenty of examples of those this year.

“There are also an incredible number of unsung heroes and unheralded achievers who do amazing things every day.

“What we need our readers to do now is to step forwards and tell us who they are.”

How to nominate

St Helens Star: The Pride of St Helens Awards 2023

To nominate visit

Nominations close on October 6.

A panel of judges will then review them before a shortlist is drawn up.

Judging will be based on the strength of nomination rather than the number of submissions.

The categories

Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group Pride of St Helens Award

The night’s premier award will salute a person or organisation who judges believe has made a truly inspiring or outstanding contribution to St Helens over the past two years.

Saints Sportsperson of the Year Award

Whose achievements in the sporting arena have been the brightest over the past two years?

We want nominations from all sporting fields – from amateurs to professionals, and from coaches to players.

HMS Housing Community Business Hero

Which person, team, business or organisation made an incredible difference to the people of St Helens or section of our community.

Tell us about their outstanding contribution.

Handepay Unsung Hero Award

Tell us about the person who makes a huge difference to our town’s communities, organisations or teams but who rarely gets a spot in the limelight.

St Helens UPVC Courage Award

Every year the Star runs stories telling of the heroism, courage or bravery of people from this town. But many others must go untold. Nominees could have performed a dramatic rescue or maybe they’ve overcome illness or injury to record inspiring achievements.

Lanny Man Child Of Courage Award

We are searching for nominees who have shown immense courage in the face of adversity. Courage comes in different shapes – is it a child who has battled illness, performed an act of bravery or done something truly remarkable while up against the odds?

JC Kitchens School Of The Year

Which is the best school in St Helens and why? How are the youngsters and teachers making a difference in our communities? What have been the outstanding achievements. In this new category we welcome nominations from pupils, parents or schools themselves

Assured Life Charity Champion

Charities local and nationally survive and thrive on the cash raised by big-hearted fundraisers. And they have really needed it in tough times during 2020/21. We don’t just want to hear who has raised the most, but how they have done it, what difference has it made and why it has inspired you.

Imperial Bar &Terrace Arts Award

Often St Helens is guilty of not shouting loud enough about those who have achieved remarkable things in the world of stage, screen, and music.

We want to hear about bright young things and those who have made it to the very top.

St Helens Borough Council Young Sportsperson of the Year

Which of St Helens’ sporting juniors have recorded the biggest achievement?

In a town with so much talent we would expect a deluge of entries. Tell us who stands out? (Nominees must not have reached their 19th birthday by October 31.)

Accord Wills Community Impact Award

Which business or other organisation has had the biggest positive impact on their community?

How have they made St Helens a better place or helped people?

Have they used their heart as well as their business head to serve their area?

Arcoframe Special Achievement Award

This award recognises a person who has made the outstanding and lasting contribution to life in St Helens.

There will be no shortlist for this title announced prior to this award – instead the Pride of St Helens judging panel will reflect on potential candidates during the process and the winner will be awarded on the night.

Swindells Roofing Pride of Place Award

We have some amazing places across St Helens – but is there one street or community in particular that makes you proud?

Maybe they put on an amazing coronation gathering, have transformed the way an area looks or have done something outstanding for charity.