Entries for the Trustpower Whanganui District Community Awards have opened, giving locals the opportunity to recognise the dedication of their volunteers and voluntary groups within their community.

Run in partnership with the Whanganui District Council, the awards are open to all voluntary groups and organisations to celebrate they work they do.

"Whanganui has a strong history of community participation, and at the last Trustpower Community Awards, more than 60 groups were entered by the Whanganui community," mayor Hamish McDouall said.

"That shows how much outstanding voluntary work is going on. I think we are the capital of volunteering."

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Mr McDouall said volunteers gave hundreds of hours each year to make Whanganui a better place for everyone.

"I encourage everyone to enter a community group which you think has made a difference and help get their work recognised."

Since the Trustpower Whanganui District Community Awards began in 2013, more than $20,000 has been given away to voluntary groups and organisations, and this year more than $5000 is up for grabs.

Trustpower community relations representative Alice Boyd said filling out an entry form took just a few minutes but it would make a real impact to the volunteers being recognised.

Entry Forms are available from the Whanganui District Council and service centres, online at www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards or on the Trustpower Community Facebook page. They can also be received by calling Alice Boyd on 0800 87 11 11 ext 4176.

The awards cover five categories:
Heritage and Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Arts and Culture
Sport and Leisure
Educational and Child/Youth Development.

Category winners receive $500, runners-up receive $250 and the supreme winner will take home $1500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Community Awards being held in Queenstown in April 2018.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday, August 18.

Last year's Whanganui supreme winner was the Bushy Park Trust.