Nominees for Local Heroes do not have to be wonder women or super men - we are looking for ordinary people who have made a difference to people's lives.
One who has acknowledged this is Sonia Gathergood and her partner, Peter Franck, who have nominated Peter's father, Pierre (also known as Pete) in the Carer category .
Sonia contacted the Gazette online, on behalf of the whole family, to put forward the 80-year-old, of Grange Close, Hayes, who seems to place everyone else before himself, and gets a kick from doing it.
His family includes three sons - Peter, Darren and Stephen - Stephen's wife, Martine, and six grandchildren.
Sonia said Mr Franck is so popular locally, it takes him 90 minutes to walk up the road because so many people know him and stop to chat.
During his working life, Mr Franck worked in three bakeries in Hayes, including 22 years at Bellfield's Bakery in Lansbury Drive, Hayes End, and so has made many local people's wedding cakes.
He retired at 64 and then worked in a cleaning job for an engineering firm, eventually giving up paid work at the age of 74.
He enjoys caring for his grandchildren as well as looking after his wife, who is in a wheelchair.
This means doing the housework and cooking - his speciality is roast dinners - and sorting out three chickens, four tortoises, two parrots, a cat and a couple of dozen goldfish.
Sonia said: "Without Pete's love our family would not be as it is.
"He picks up my seven-year-old daughter from school, looks after his wife, June, who has mobility problems, cooks, cleans and still has time to be the gentleman that everyone loves.
"He has touched so many lives with his kindness, friendship and love, and we think he is a true hero. I hope you will make him yours."
Mr Franck, who was delighted but surprised to have been nominated, said: "I like to keep busy, and it is easier to help people than not." [25a0] When nominating online please do not forget to give telephone numbers and the category for which the person should be considered.
Don't let heroes miss their moment to shine
A TERRIFIC £1,000 is up for grabs this year for the winner of the popular Local Heroes contest, with £100 waiting to be won by the person who nominates the eventual winner.
The seventh Local Heroes awards seeks ordinary people whose actions towards others have shown they are truly special.
The awards are presented by Uxbridge College and the Uxbridge Gazette series.
Last year, those nominated included a volunteer for Victim Support in her 80s; a dedicated mother of five who donated her kidney to her Down's Syndrome daughter; and a young man who saved passengers on a minibus when the driver had a heart attack.
Other heart-warming stories of good neighbours and committed campaigners, and particularly that of our 2007 winner, 18-year-old Pippa Fisher who raised thousands
of pounds for charity, made last year's awards a huge success.
Parents, governors and school staff who feel youngsters sometimes get a bad press should jump at the chance to nominate someone 16 or under, who deserves recognition in the community, for any reason whatsoever.
Adrian Seal, editor-in-chief of the Gazette series, and Laraine Smith, principal of Uxbridge College, were both pleased to launch Local Heroes again.
Mr Seal said: "We are looking forward to hearing more stories of local people who have been recognised by their neighbours or the community for putting others needs before theirs, or for battling against the odds."
Our Local Heroes for 2008 and their nominators will be honoured at a gala night on February 26 at Uxbridge College's Hayes campus in Coldharbour Lane.
Local Heroes categories are:
Community Hero: someone who has helped the community,perhaps with a project or campaign. Winner receives £250, runners-up £50.
Fundraising Hero: any individual or group which has raised money for charity. Winner receives £250, runners-up £50.
Young Hero: a youngster aged 16 or under who deserves recognition in the community. Winner receives £250, runners-up £50.
Citizen of Courage: someone who has shown bravery in a difficult situation or achieved a goal against the odds. Winner receives £250, runners-up £50.
Carer Hero: anyone who has selflessly looked after others. Winner receives £250, runners-up £50.
The overall title Hero of Hillingdon will be chosen from any of the above category winners. Winner receives £750.