POPULAR celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock is to be the star host of this year's A Place to be Proud of Awards event in Basingstoke.

The green-fingered TV star, who was born and bred in Hampshire, said she is looking forward to meeting the people who have made a difference to the area when she comperes the gala dinner and presentation ceremony in Festival Place on Sunday, July 13.

The awards - which are now in their fifth year and have become a focal point of the Basingstoke calendar - honour individuals and organisations who have made a positive difference in Basingstoke and Deane.

Charlie, a former Ground Force star, said: "I think this is a great initiative. It's the perfect way to encourage and reward those who take pride in their local community and all it has to offer."

The A Place to be Proud of Awards were set up in 2003 and, once again, Festival Place, Gazette Newspapers, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Local Strategic Partnership are among the lead supporters.

This year they will be joined by Destination Basingstoke - a not-for-profit marketing agency that is helping to raise the image and profile of Basingstoke and is co-ordinating this year's event.

Beverley Flanagan, chair of Destination Basingstoke, said: "We are delighted that Charlie will be helping to host this fantastic event. She is someone with great community spirit, which is what these awards truly represent."

Nominations are now being invited for the various award categories listed in the panel on this page.

Entry forms can be downloaded from our website by clicking here or www.destinationbasingstoke.co.uk or www.festivalplace.co.uk

They can also be obtained by e-mailing Felicity Edwards at felicity.edwards@basingstoke.gov.uk or by calling 07739 050693.

The deadline for nominations is April 18, and a panel of judges will select the winners.

Award categories and sponsors
Schools and Education Award - sponsored by Winterthur
Good Citizen Award - sponsored by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Gazette Newspapers
Good Neighbour Award - sponsored by Sentinel Housing Group and Kingfisher Housing Association
Health and Care Award - sponsored by Vitacress and Queen Mary's College
Basingstoke Ambassador Award - sponsored by Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust
Judges Special Award - sponsored by Absolutely Offices
Young Achiever Award - sponsored by Tenon
Arts and Culture Award
Unsung Hero Award

HCR Group will be supporting the event by sponsoring the string quartet that will play at the awards evening.