A NEW awards event has been launched to ensure Good Samaritans in Rowley Regis get a pat on the back for their efforts.

The Rowley Regis Community Awards is looking to recognise outstanding contributions made to the area by local people and businesses.

The awards scheme, being organised by Sandwell Community Hubs, is seeking nominations for seven categories.

Among the categories are 'Outstanding Volunteer', 'Outstanding Young Person' and 'Outstanding Community Project'.

The 'Outstanding Good Neighbour' award will reward someone who helps others and makes a difference to their lives.

There are also 'Outstanding Partnership Working' and 'Outstanding Community Organisation' awards for well-meaning groups.

Finally, there is a 'Community Special Award' that will recognise an individual that has contributed positive lifelong service to the area.

Councillor Susan Eaves, town chair for Rowley Regis, said: "This awards scheme is a very good way of local people giving a big thank you to people who have gone the extra mile for the area.

"I would urge people to get in touch to vote for people and groups who have made Rowley Regis a better place."

Anyone who wants to vote must be based in Rowley Regis and all projects must take place in the town.

All entries will be judged by an independent panel involving local councillors and the deadline for nominations is Friday, January 18.

All selected nominees will be invited to an awards evening in February.

Visit www.sandwellchc.org/community-awards to submit nominations online.

All of Sandwell's six towns - Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich - will have, or have had, special tailored awards that are hoped will become annual events.