Stories of bravery, hard work and dedication were revealed as the shortlist was announced for Darlington’s annual awards.
Judges have chosen the local heroes they want to see at the annual Best of Darlington Awards in March.
Three names have been chosen in each of the 11 categories.
Lance Corporal Steven Hughes has been shortlisted for a special award. He was one of 14 Royal Marines from Lima Company 42 Commando and 29 Commando Royal Artillery to survive a battle in Afghanistan in September that left at least five Taliban insurgents dead.
His name appears alongside Aimee Yule, who has already won a courage award at the Durham Police Authority’s Community Awards Scheme after stepping in to stop a brutal street attack on a man in Darlington.
Dancer Darrien Wright and Punch and Judy show entertainer Brian Llewellyn have been chosen for their contribution to the arts.
Other categories are: contribution to sport, contribution to business, contribution to the environment, vocational excellence, academic excellence, exceptional student, contribution to the community (adult and young person) and putting Darlington on the map.
Residents were also invited to submit photographs to the Darlington Thru The Lens photography section on the theme of regeneration.
Gordon Pybus, chairman of campaign and support group Darlington Association and last year’s Citizen of the Year winner is one of the judges for the 2012 awards.
He said: “”When you work in an organisation like I do, when you win something that is obviously given to an individual, it is to be shared by the organisation. Fellow trustees, staff and members were also pleased and proud that I won it.”