BBC has launched a new award at the Make A Difference Awards to honour animals that are making a difference in their communities.

This means that BBC Radio Somerset listeners can now put a spotlight on their furry friends.

Animals, who have improved the lives of individuals or groups of people, or those who work to enhance animal welfare, are now eligible for the newfound category.

Chris Burns, controller local audio commissioning for BBC England, said: "We are a nation of animal lovers and our listeners often contact us with stories of what their pets mean to them and how they are offering support.

"So we thought what better way to celebrate these achievements than with their own category at our Make A Difference Awards."

Bridgwater Mercury:

BBC Radio Somerset listeners are urged to nominate these remarkable individuals and animals who have done something amazing for their communities over the past year.

There are eight award categories with nominations closing on Sunday, March 10 at 11pm.

The winners will be declared at the Make a Difference Award ceremony in a yet-to-be-announced location in September.

The Make A Difference initiative started as a virtual notice board during the first pandemic lockdown.

To date, over 14 million people have interacted across all 39 local BBC radio stations.

Gareth Roberts, editor of BBC Radio Somerset said: "We hear amazing accounts every day from our listeners about the incredible work that goes on in our communities across Somerset.

"Many have faced tough times recently, so I am delighted that we will be honouring our local unsung heroes once again.

"It’s those individuals that make where we live so special."

The 2024 categories include Volunteer, Community, Fundraiser, Carer, Great Neighbour, Bravery, The Green Award, and the new Animal Award for an animal or person(s) working with animals to improve welfare.

Check out the full list of categories and details on how to nominate someone - or something - at