A volunteer awards scheme is now open for nominations after returning for the first time in two years.

The Braintree District Volunteer Awards had a two-year hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The awards recognise the vital role volunteers have within Braintree district communities.

An added category for this year is for those who stepped up to help their local community in response to the pandemic.

There are five award categories, and each category has an award for young people up to 21 years and adults 22 years and over.

The award categories are Inspirational Role Model, Going the Extra Mile, Volunteer Group, Long Service and Covid Response.

Council communities boss Frankie Ricci said: “Seeing the kindness and hard work of the Braintree district during even the most difficult of times is both truly humbling and inspiring.

“These awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate volunteers and the impact they have had on their community.”

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, July 14 at 5pm.

The winners will be informed the week beginning July 25.

Nominations can be made via the Braintree Council website.

A judging panel will select the winners from each category who will then go forward for consideration for the Braintree District Volunteer of the Year Award.