It was an evening of proud smiles, tears of joy, laughter and a few surprises as the EDP held their annual Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards at Sprowston Manor last night.
Unsung heroes and community stalwarts from across the region were feted at a glittering ceremony - which was attended by more than 250 guests.
The audience - mostly made up awards finalists, their families and friends - clapped and cheered as each of the 13 category winners made their way to the stage to accept their awards.
Sarah Barrett, 19, from Southwold, was named the winner of the Young Person of the Year Award for her work to help people struggling with mental health issues. And Miss Barrett received another honour - winning the overall Star of Norfolk and Waveney Award.
Other winners - which included SERV Norfolk and tennis star Alfie Hewett - also deservedly collected prizes and showed why the area has so much to be proud of.
Nigel Pickover, EDP editor-in-chief, said he was thrilled with the success of the awards, which was run this year for the fourth time.
Mr Pickover said the event was a chance to recognise people from the community who worked tirelessly for others without any expectation of praise.
He said: “Stars is one of the events which binds our community together, a veritable power for good.”
There were also two special recognition awards presented to groups which have shown admirable spirit and dedication to the community. One of these awards went to the Sandringham Flower Show committee, which not only organises one of the region’s premier outdoor events but has contributed hundreds of thousands of pounds to charity over the past 40 years. The other special recognition award went to the volunteer lifeboat men and women stationed across Norfolk and Waveney, who regularly risk their lives to save others, both in and offshore.
The awards were hosted by BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad.
In summing up the night, Mr Conrad said: “Congratulations to all of this evening’s finalists – the standard of entrants to these awards was wonderful.”
© Archant Ltd 2013