It's fair to say there is a lot of excitement in the room when the judges for the HELLO! Inspiration Awards 2021 gather together. They are also very pleased they get to honour the people who go above and beyond to help others – a virtue that has become increasingly important during the pandemic – by sifting through the nominations for two very special categories for our annual ceremony.
The judges' panel this year are television star Lorraine Kelly, BBC Radio 1 DJ Vick Hope, newsreader Kate Silverton, HELLO!'s editor in chief Rosie Nixon and host Anita Rani, who are all taking part for a second year a row.
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"What an honour to be asked to present this year's awards," Anita tells us. "The ceremony is always a room full of joy and celebration, acknowledging some incredible people. It will be a real privilege to meet these inspirational men and women in real life to celebrate the awesome work that they do."
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The Star Mum award - which was created to recognize mothers who, while raising their family, still find the time to help others in need - and the #HelloToKindness categories are the only ones voted for by our readers.
Speaking about the two awards, Rosie explains: "These awards are not about pitting people against one another - I wish we could highlight ALL the entries - but they are about using our influence at HELLO! to celebrate and empower some special people who could use this platform for even greater good, and to realise just how treasured and appreciated they are."
Kate Silverton and Rosie Nixon are part of the judging panel
The winners will secure an overnight stay at a plush London hotel, and be among the fabulous celebrities attending this year's awards. They will also receive the A-list treatment with a pampered VIP hair and makeup package before taking home a goody bag worth hundreds of pounds.
Building on HELLO!'s successful campaign to make social media a kinder and gentler place, the #HelloToKindness award honours those who embody the spirit of compassion by spreading cheer in their community or offering support to those in need. To vote, simply read the stories below then scroll down to where you can select your nominee.
Phil Tottman, 35, was nominated by his wife Nadia after launching children's mental health organisation Book of Beasties, which helps youngsters through a series of games and stories and has been used at Great Ormond Street Hospital during the pandemic. The London-based man was inspired to help others after experiencing depression and homelessness and has since provided more than 300 UK schools with wellness support – all while being 'super dad' to his and Nadia's son Arthur. "He is so dedicated to what he does and would do absolutely anything to try and ensure a child has a decent chance at being happy and mentally healthy," Nadia says.
While juggling her job as a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, Lorraine Lewis dedicates her time to helping adult cancer patients at nine hospitals in the Midlands. She provides free gift packages, as well as organizing pamper days for people going through treatment and visiting people at home. In order to carry on her work, she reaches out to local businesses and schools for fundraising and gifts, with 50 volunteers helping give away more than 2,500 items.
After creating charity Rising Girl, which helps disadvantaged girls in the UK, award-winning journalist Emb, from Birmingham, has donated thousands of hours of her time to help young women achieve their dreams. She aims to help them by overcome issues like domestic abuse, forced marriage and mental health problems while prioritizing the need for education. The organisation has helped 3,000 people through its Rise Together online programme, and recently launched Rise Together Pakistan to help women aged 17-25 deal with gender inequality.
Vote for your #HelloToKindness nominee