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Newspapers show they have heart with £8,000 scheme

Two newspapers in Essex will give £8,000 away as part of an annual scheme which recognises community champions.

The Heart of Essex campaign is being run by the Essex Chronicle and Brentwood Gazette with the aim of helping to fund projects run by organisations that put the pride in the county.

Last year the money was spent on re-opening a school that had been forced to close due to lack of funding.

Pre-school teacher Judith Hancock was one of 24 winners of the competition and was awarded £2,500.

The campaign, which is sponsored by four organisations, invites readers to nominate outstanding contribution to education, community and environment.

The first prize in each category is £1,500, and runner up prize is £700.

It was launched last week and saw the newspaper sales team heading out to supermarkets to promote the campaign with balloons and nomination packs.

A dedicated website has also been set up alongside the scheme which states: “Our aim is to recognise and reward local groups for the outstanding work and contributions they make within our communities by giving them a chance to win a cash award. The awards allow schools, charities and community groups to enter for a slice of the £8,000 prize pot.”

Readers will be asked to vote for the project they believe should receive a cash award, and an awards evening will take place in June.

As well as the winners of the three categories there will be a special award for each paper as chosen by the editor and sponsors.