The Pride of Birmingham Awards, in partnership with TSB, will go ahead tonight after finding a way around the coronavirus crisis.
In the midst of the pandemic, the show has adapted to a digital format, and will be broadcast for free on YouTube – which viewers will be able to find here.
Tonight at 7pm will see Birmingham locals as well as a host of famous faces celebrate the real life superheroes of the city’s communities.
Coronation Street star Kym Marsh is on presenting duties for this year, and while coronavirus has hampered plans for the usually glam red carpet event, she’s certain this year’s show will be just as impactful.
The Michelle Connor actress gushed: “This is such a special way of celebrating some truly amazing people.
“The best thing about hosting Pride of Birmingham is meeting the winners, so to join them and their families where they live was an absolute privilege.
“We had so much fun, and I know viewers will too.”
Every winner will be in the running for the judging process for The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, which air during the autumn on ITV.
Among the incredible winners is brave Holocaust surviver Mindu Hornick, who was just 12 when she was rounded up by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz with her mother, sister and two younger brothers.
For 40 years, Mindu was unable to bring herself to discuss the horrors she’d witnessed in the Nazi death camp, but changed her mind over time and embarked on a fearless programme of education to tell her story – and those of the millions of others who did not survive.
Mindu told us how her Pride Of Birmingham Lifetime Achievement Award is truly special for her.
“This is the icing on the cake. This one is the really special one,” she smiled.
Another winner of tonight’s prestigious gongs is headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson of Anderton Park Primary in Birmingham, who takes home the Special Recognition Award for standing up for her LGBTQ pupils.
Students at the school were for months subjected to hateful homophobic abuse from protesters outside the playground gates, who targeted the school because of its stance on equality.
While children were not formally taught about the importance of challenging stereotypes and treating everyone equally, the ethos of the school meant it was included in all of their values – something Sarah is passionate about.
“It’s made me tearful. At the time it was so tough but we were doing what we felt was right as we take our roles as educators very seriously,” she told the Mirror.
“You do sometimes have to put your head above the parapet but it’s a collective strength so then to get the award from the brilliant people of Birmingham was huge and massively humbling.”
Area Director for the West Midlands Gareth Lewis enthused: “Serving our customers and their communities is at the heart of all we do at TSB, that’s why I’m so passionate about us working with Pride of Birmingham and Pride of Britain – it’s fantastic recognition of the extraordinary things people have achieved in their local communities, their everyday determination and dedication is inspirational.”
*The Pride of Birmingham Awards, in partnership with TSB, will be broadcasting tonight from 7pm on YouTube