Lancashire pop legend launches BBC's Unsung Hero Award

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Rick Astley has launched the BBC Unsung Hero Awards 2020 with a single featuring British sports stars titled Every One of Us, raising money for Children In Need.

The first play of the single was broadcast this morning on BBC Breakfast to kick off the campaign, which is aiming to celebrate those people bringing communities together. Opening from 6am, entries into the contest are open until Sunday, October 25th.

Newton-le-Willows-born Astley is fronting the single which is hoped to bring people together through a challenging ongoing period. He said: “When I was asked to launch a single in honour of Unsung Hero and to raise money for BBC Children in Need I didn’t hesitate. Both are brilliant causes and I hope the song can bring a bit of joy and solidarity during what has been a strange and unprecedented year.”

The Unsung Hero Awards are run by BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and champion volunteers who have made a positive impact in local communities during an unprecedented year through their work in sports groups.

Supporting this year's Unsung Hero Awards include the 2019 regional winners of the award, Captain Tom Moore, and sportspeople including Ben Stokes and Dame Jessica Ennis, with a number of special cameos in the music video.

Video credit: BBC Sport

Tanni Grey-Thompson, Will Bailey, Kare Adenegan, Sam Quek and Ellie Simmonds also appear in it, along with Alex Scott, Gabby Logan and Gareth Thomas.

Every One of Us will be raising funds for BBC Children in Need - with 100% of BMG’s net profits going to the charitable campaign. This year, a new category is available at the awards - the Captain Tom: Young Unsung Hero award, which aims to find the most inspiring under-15 from a range of nationwide nominations.

The winner will have made a big difference in their local community through sport during COVID-19, and is named after the 100-year-old fundraiser who managed to raise more than £30 million for NHS Charities Together this year.

The BBC's Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, said: “Unsung Hero is about honouring the people who show up rain or shine to inspire people to take part in grassroots sports and make a real difference in their local area. During what has been a very difficult year, 2020 will feel extra special as we recognise those volunteers who helped keep their community going.”

Last year's Unsung Hero was Keiren Thompson, who runs community project 'Helping Kids Achieve' in one of Nottingham's most deprived areas, Bulwell. After being badly beaten in an attack and hospitalised as a teenager, he was inspired to make a change and help stop youngsters getting into similar situations.