Can you help us find the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney?

Pat Whittaker and her daughter Gemma Hatton on stage at last year's EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney

Pat Whittaker and her daughter Gemma Hatton on stage at last year's EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015. Mrs Whittaker won last year's Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year Award. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

She started helping Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides get a good start in life way back in 1975 – and she's still doing it today.

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. All the winners together.

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. All the winners together. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Pat Whittaker, from Lowestoft, is typical of the many silent achievers in our communities who the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards aim to celebrate.

Mrs Whittaker, 65, won a 'Unsung Heroine/Hero of the Year' category in last year's awards.

She earned the honour for her tireless dedication to the 3rd Oulton Brownies and Guides – a group which she has run for the past 41 years.

Mrs Whittaker said she was delighted when her name was read out at the awards night.

Brownie leader Pat Whittaker. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Brownie leader Pat Whittaker. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

She said: 'I really didn't think I would win it – it was an honour just to be in the top three.

'When they read my name out my daughter just screamed. It was quite a surprise and it was a very good night.'

In addition to receiving a bunch of flowers and bottle of champagne on stage, the awards' organisers granted Mrs Whittaker a lifelong wish – a trip to London to see a West End show.

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She plans to travel to the capital to take in a new production of Aladdin in November.

She said: 'From what I've seen in the press it has had some really good reviews so I'm looking forward to it.'

Mrs Whittaker was also given a £100 restaurant voucher as part of her prize.

She said Rainbows, Brownies and Guides were excellent groups for girls to get involved in and planned to continue leading the 3rd Oulton group as long as she was able.

Mrs Whittaker said: 'It helps girls to mix with others and try some new challenges that they probably never would have done before.'

She said the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards were an excellent way of recognising worthy people who might otherwise go unnoticed.

Mrs Whittaker said: 'There are a lot of people out there who do a lot of work in the community that you never her of'.

The search is on for our new stars

The EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards aim to recognise 'everyday heroes' - people in our communities who go above and beyond what's expected of them and make this such an amazing place to live.

Your nominee might be a volunteer who has tirelessly worked to help others over many years. It may be someone who puts their life on the line as part of their job in the emergency services. Or it might be a person who acted on their feet in a dangerous situation and helped to save someone else's life. You can nominate as many times as you like.

The categories are:

- Carer of the Year

- Young Person of the Year

- Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the Year

- Community Group or Champion of the Year

- Outstanding Bravery

- Hospital/Ambulance Hero/Heroine of the Year

- Team of the Year

- Search and Rescue Person of the Year

- Fire Service Person of the Year

- Volunteer of the Year

- Armed Services Person of the Year

- Police Person of the Year

- Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year

It's time to nominate

Now is the time to act and get in your nominations for the EDP's Stars of Norfolk and Waveney.

This is the EDP's major annual awards ceremony, and offers an excellent chance to recognise unsung heroes and worthy individuals who have done something to be proud of.

Each category winner is granted a wish tailor-made to suit their dreams and interests.

This could be anything from a weekend away in historic York to a racing experience at Silverstone.

We've already received scores of nominations, but we know there are still plenty of undiscovered stars out there. So don't delay and nominate someone via our quick and easy online form at the bottom of this page.

Nominations close on October 21, and the awards ceremony will be at Sprowston Manor, near Norwich on December 7.

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