37 times local newspapers made a difference over the last year

The most powerful local newspaper campaigns from across the country are to be recognised in an awards ceremony next month.

The Making a Difference award is part of Local Newspaper Week, which starts on 11 May. During the week, members of the public will be able to vote online for their favourite of the 37 shortlisted campaigns.

Nominated campaigns include a fight to save a fire station, an attempt to raise awareness of suicides amongst young people, and a successful bid to stop house building on a community playing field.

The Derby Telegraph is nominated for its Save a Life campaign which helped sign up 15,000 people in Derbyshire to become organ donors in less than two years.

NHS Blood and Transplant praised the “big impact” of the paper’s appeal for donors.

Caroline Jones, a reporter at the paper who co-ordinated Save a Life, said: “It’s a wonderful campaign, so we’re very happy to have that recognised. From the start everyone’s been very supportive and I think that shows the longevity of the campaign as well.”

Save a Life started out as a drive to get people to donate blood, and has now transformed into a bid to find homes for five new defibrillators in Derbyshire.

Wales Online launched a search for mourners when it discovered that no-one was to attend the funeral of Harold Morgan. The website found out that Morgan was a former Welsh Guard and appealed over social media for people to attend.

The story was carried on Radio Four’s Today programme and on the day of the funeral hundreds of people paid their respects, along with a troop of Welsh Guards, who formed an honour guard for the service on 13 November last year.

Paul Rowland, digital development editor at Wales Online, said: “It was incredibly surprising what came of the campaign. I don’t think anyone would have suspected the sort of turn out we saw. To see the pictures from the day itself was absolutely amazing, otherwise it would have been a sad end to a great man’s life.”

Other nominees include the Yorkshire Post, which is nominated for the second year running for its Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign. And the Kent Messenger Group has four nominations across its titles, including for an appeal to give a late Christmas Dinner for the people of Yalding, which had been hit by flooding.

The Making a Difference winner will be announced at the Regional Press Awards on 15 May.

Here is a full list of nominees:

  • Aberdeen Evening Express: Wild Dolphins Art Trail
  • Aberdeen Press and Journal: Guns on Patrol
  • Bath Chronicle: Pink Ribbon
  • Battle Observer: Stand Up for Battle
  • Birmingham Mail: 75 Year Cover Up
  • Bolton News: Let's Get Back on Track
  • Cambs Times: Estover Debacle
  • Cumberland and Westmorland Herald: Help is Close to Home
  • Derby Telegraph: Save a Life
  • Dundee and Courier Advertiser: Drivers – Don't Pay Private Fines
  • Dundee Evening Telegraph: Make the Right Call
  • Eastern Daily Press: The Road to Success
  • Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal
  • Edinburgh Evening News: Shockingly Easy
  • Essex Chronicle: Adopt a Duck
  • Evening Gazette: Let's Grow
  • Evening Gazette, Colchester: 100,000 Smiles
  • Express and Star: Ladder for the Black Country
  • Grimsby Telegraph: Cleethorpes to Manchester
  • Harrogate Advertiser: Donor Register
  • Kent Messenger: Feast for the Flooded
  • Kent Messenger: Kick Start Kent
  • Kent Messenger: Missing: Pat Lamb
  • Kentish Gazette: Elf Service
  • Manchester Evening News: Greengate Memorial
  • Manchester Evening News: Manchester Dogs Home
  • News and Star, Carlisle: Keep Our Streets Free
  • North Devon Journal: Backing North Devon
  • Nottingham Post: Inside Your Hospitals
  • Press and Journal: Fair Deal on Energy Prices
  • Shropshire Star: Get Us Connected
  • Southern Daily Echo: Save a Life in Schools
  • Sunday Life: Puppy Farm
  • Sunderland Echo: Hold Fire
  • Wales Online: Harold Morgan Appeal
  • Western gazette: A303: Dual It!
  • Yorkshire Post: Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic

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