WE'RE holding out for a hero - to light up Dunfermline and spread some festive cheer.

The switch-on of the city's Christmas lights is normally the preserve of some minor celebrity or soap actor.

But this year the public will be asked to nominate a local hero to illuminate Dunfermline at a very special time of year. The Press and Dunfermline Delivers, the firm behind the business improvement district, hope to find an ordinary person who has achieved the extraordinary.

It could be someone they know; a friend, family member or colleague, who they feel represents the spirit of Dunfermline and all it has to offer.

Maggie Mitchell, chief executive at Dunfermline Delivers, said, "The Winter Festival is always a fantastic time of year, with so much going on, and the switching on of the lights really brings home to people that the festive period is on its way.

"In the past we have had celebrities performing at the Alhambra Theatre switch on the lights but this year we thought it was important to highlight the fact that we should not only be acknowledging famous faces but local people who make a difference every day.

"Although it would be easy for us to pick someone we feel represents the exceptional spirit of those from Dunfermline, we feel it is important that the people of Dunfermline have their say - it is their festival after all." She added, "This year, the focus of Dunfermline's Winter Festival will be on real people with real stories.

"They say Christmas is a time for giving and we know there are many people within our city who deserve to be given a little back." Dunfermline Delivers are looking for someone who inspires others, either through their work, accomplishments, charity work or the way they choose to spend their free time.

Whoever is chosen by the Dunfermline Press and Dunfermline Delivers to carry out the switch-on, will be joined in kicking off the festive season by Fife Lord Provost Jim Leishman, well known locally for making a difference and taking part in community events.

To nominate your local hero, get in touch with Dunfermline Delivers by sending an email to info@connectingwithyou.co.uk.

FOR 30 years, the Press has been saluting West Fife's everyday heroes ... the community activists or local heroes who live next door, in the next street and throughout our neighbourhoods.

Readers again have the chance to honour West Fife's own 'unsung heroes' by adding the name of their own Good Samaritan to the roll call of those who give of themselves quietly, every day, never expecting recognition or reward.

Whether it is for a single conspicuous act of kindness or for sustained caring concern for others, the Press can present your 'unsung hero' with The Catherine Livingstone Good Neighbour Trophy, a glittering quaich donated anonymously in memory of a former Citizen of the Year - and give him or her a special mention in despatches.

If you think your local hero deserves a medal, send your nomination, together with a short citation, to: Good Neighbour Award, Dunfermline Press Group, Pitreavie Business Park, Dunfermline, KY11 8QS.