A SEARCH has been launched to find Sandwell’s best loved unpaid helpers with the launch of the borough’s 2013 volunteer awards.

People are invited to nominate volunteers or community groups that make a difference so they can be thanked.

Volunteer Centre Sandwell is gearing up to host a special ceremony in June when health and social care, community organisation, corporate and environmental awards will be presented.

A further special award will go to a young volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution.

The ceremony will also mark the 35th anniversary of Volunteer Centre Sandwell and will take place during National Volunteers’ Week.

Jean Taylor, from the centre, said: "We have spent 35 years helping local volunteers to find the perfect opportunities for them and these awards are our way of saying a massive thank you for the huge difference that they make.”

Nomination forms are available from Volunteer Centre Sandwell, Municipal Buildings, Oldbury, or by emailing vcsadminbtconnect.com

The closing date for entries is Friday April 5 after which time nominations will be considered by an independent panel drawn from representatives of voluntary and statutory sectors.