THE best of Bradford's kind-hearted and caring community enjoyed a glittering awards ceremony yesterday evening.

The annual Community Stars Awards presentation was held in Bradford's Midland Hotel and was compered by Mary Dowson, director of BCB Radio, and Elliott Broadfoot, local actor and singer.

The event is designed to reward the unsung heroes across the district who give up their time to do good things around the community and to help others.

Speakers included Telegraph & Argus editor Nigel Burton, chief executive of Bradford Council Kersten England and Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Abid Hussain.

Finalists from the eight categories were chosen from a record number of nominations.

All were worthy finalists and all regarded as winners.

Mr Burton told the audience it was his first Community Stars Awards and he was delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of those who had been nominated for their exemplary and often selfless service to the community.

"Looking around me tonight I can see the very best our city has to offer," he said.

"To be truthful, there are no losers here. Everyone is a winner in my eyes and you all deserve it."

Councillor Hussain praised the work of volunteers who looked after their community and helped and inspired others.

Ms England said she was delighted the awards had become so popular.

She said: "It has almost outgrown this venue. We will have to think about moving up a notch in the future."

She said the ceremony was her favourite of the year because it rewarded those who did not ask for rewards.

"Statistics show that people in Bradford volunteer more and give more money than anywhere else in West Yorkshire," she said.

The categories and winners were:

Volunteers: winner Clare Mason, runners up James "Jimmy" King and Ayham Alktib.

Good Neighbours: winners Lynn and Peter Wardman, runner up Abdul Ghaffer.

Fundraiser: winner Rifaqat Ali, runners up Stanley Turner and Ashley Copeland.

Young Active Citizens: winner Springfield Juniors Programme, runners up Libby Carter and Josh Harley-Sellers.

Business Can Make A Difference: winner Dubrovnik Hotel, runners up John Summers Butchers, BASF.

Community Champions: winner David Harrison, runners up Irene Cyhanko and Bhagwan Mistry.

Better Start Bradford: winner Alice Wilkinson, runners up Bumps and Babes and Baby Basics.

Community Group: winner Friends of Holme Wood, runners up Sing From The Heart and Friends of Greengates and Apperley Bridge.

A separate award for outstanding achievement, given for the first time, was awarded to Jewish community leader Rudi Leavor.

He was nominated by Richard Stroud who said: "Rudi Leavor has given selfless and voluntary service for the last 58 years.

“Since he retired, over 20 years ago, he has helped improve relationships between the different faiths in Bradford and Yorkshire as well as making a major contribution to the memory of the Holocaust victims and maintaining their memorial.”

Mr Leavor, 91, who received a standing ovation when he went for his award, said: "I am immensely proud and honoured to have been chosen for this award and want to thank all those involved."

He said he was proud of the close relationship he had with other faiths in Bradford, particularly the Muslim faith which came "out of the blue" to help when the synagogue needed roof repairs.

He also praised his friend, Jani Rashid, for being the first Muslim to be made a board member of any synagogue.