TONIGHT we celebrated the incredible work, effort and success of the people of West and Central Fife with the return of the Dunfermline Press and Central Fife Times Community Champion Awards. 

These awards recognise the inspiring local people from the worlds of sport, business, charity, music, schools and everyday life and were presented at a ceremony in the Glen Pavilion. 

Around 250 people were in attendance to see broadcaster Bryan Burnett host the event and commemorate another year of outstanding community spirit. 

Deputy editor for the Press and Times, Ally McRoberts, said: "For me, this is one of the best nights of the year, as we get to celebrate the remarkable people who make the bright side of Fife such a compassionate, caring, dynamic, innovative and entertaining place to be.

"This area is renowned for its community spirit, looking out for each other, and supporting the good causes and charitable organisations that make a difference in our lives.

"All of us at the Press and the Times are proud to honour their selfless efforts and outstanding achievements.

"It's a privilege to share the stories of so many wonderful and inspiring people from across the Dunfermline and the West and Central Fife areas, and to champion them in our newspapers and online."

Over the course of the evening, 12 awards were presented.

Highland Dance teacher Natalie McLauchlan was named our Champion Teacher of the Year, and we had seven Little Champions of the Year – August Aitken, Fifi and Dola (The Eco-warriors), Freya Donnachie, Grace and Harry Sinclair and Logan Alexander.

The Fighting Chance Project picked up the award for Sporting Champion of the Year, while Lochgelly High School pupil, Ryan Rafferty, was the winner of the Youth Community Champion category, sponsored by Stagecoach.

The Health & Care Award, which was introduced last year, was won by Diamond Disco. 

The Bellyeoman Primary School's enterprise group received the Young Enterprise Champion of the Year award, sponsored by TechnipFMC.

And the Entrepreneurial Award went to the Little Shop of Heroes, while the Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (FRASAC) was named Charity Champion of the Year.

The Live Music Award went to T-A, who then closed the ceremony with an amazing performance, while Gregor Scott received a commendation in the category.

The kids being presented with their Little Champion of the Year Awards. (Image: Chloe Goodall)

The Community Champion of the Year award was snapped up by Kathleen Langner and the Brucefield Tenants and Residents Association; while Lesley-Anne Chessor and the late Hanniffia McGrath received the Heart of Gold award sponsored by Fife Council.

A very special presentation was made at the end of the ceremony, a Judge's Award to the Dunfermline Children's Gala. 

Mr McRoberts said: "If you want an event that pulls the people of Dunfermline together like no other, that creates memories never to be forgotten and includes a cavalcade of colourful characters and fun and games, you don't have to wait long. It's nine sleeps away.

"It's been the fixture in the city's calendar for well over a century, and for the considerable efforts of those who put together this joyous celebration each year, come rain or shine, we would like to present the gala with the Judges Award."

Fife Council sponsored the Heart of Gold award again this year. Cllr James Calder, convener of the City of Dunfermline area committee, said: “Tonight’s celebrations confirm what we already know – that our communities are made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

"It was a wonderful night that showed true community spirit and recognised people who usually go unnoticed but who make a huge contribution to their community.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners, you’re making strong communities that we can all be proud of.”

Douglas Robertson, managing director for Stagecoach East Scotland, said: “Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s Community Champion Awards.

"Every finalist - and all of the winners - should be so proud of themselves, and the work they’re doing to make Fife such a fantastic place to live and work in."

More interviews and photographs from the event will be published in a special supplement in next week's editions of the Dunfermline Press and Central Fife Times.