TODAY the Gazette, supported by Ecotricity, launches the Pride of the Cotswolds Awards.

We aim to honour those whose contribution to their employer, charity or community makes them truly exceptional.

In doing so we will celebrate the Cotswolds too: this amazing, beautiful part of the world filled with such outstanding individuals and organisations.

Our awards have an array of categories designed to recognise a wide range of achievement and contribution.

They include the Spirit of Youth award, sponsored by Gloucestershire’s innovative engineering and scientific technology company Renishaw; Volunteer of the Year, Sporting Hero award, and more.

We welcome nominations from anyone, and for any individual or organisation based within the Cotswolds area served by the Gazette and our sister papers in Gloucestershire, the Gloucestershire Gazette series and the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard.

The awards will be presented in September at a big, glitzy gala evening at the New Lawn stadium, the Nailsworth home of Forest Green Rovers Football Club, which is renowned not only for its soccer, but for the superb quality of its vegan cuisine!

Supplements in the paper and coverage on our website and social media will list which awards are up for grabs, and which are finally shortlisted.

Our independent judging panel will sift through your nominations and shortlist those with the qualities they feel best match the award category criteria. They will make their decision based on the content of the nomination rather than the number of nominations received.

Please join us in applauding those who help make the Cotswolds great. Nominations are now open!