THE coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in more ways that most would have ever imagined.

But as thousands in Herefordshire were put on the Government’s job retention scheme as the tourism, hospitality and retail industries ground to a halt, there are two sectors which kept going regardless.

It is to those who work in farming and the health and social care sector that we owe so much to this year.

That’s why the Hereford Times is proud to be running two awards ceremonies to thank all those hardworking people – from fruit pickers and tractor drivers to doctors and healthcare assistants.

Our health and social care awards aim to give these unsung heroes the moment in the spotlight that they so richly deserve, and give us chance to thank them publicly.

It is thanks to people like the carers at Coldwells House in Holmer, Hereford, that relatives can sleep easy at night, knowing their loved one is receiving exceptional care.

Faith Ford, whose mother died in December last year, said the team at Coldwells is exceptional in their dedication to providing the highest standard of care for all their residents.

“Speaking personally, I can testify to the wonderful impact Coldwells team have in the lives of its residents,” she said.

Many in the industry have faced painful separations from their loved ones and put their own safety at risk to care for others as coronavirus cast its dark shadow over the county.

The awards will take place online on October 22.

It is also important not to forget farm workers like Roger Bowen, who spent 54 years dedicated to one farm in Herefordshire.

Mr Bowen, 69, was just 15 when he started at Oakfields Farm in Kingsland, near Leominster.

From four days and nights spent in the lambing shed without going home, to visiting country shows around the UK and scooping awards, Mr Bowen said the job has always varied.

Now his daughter Amy Bemand wants him recognised for his long service, which came to an end in June when he retired.

But it is not just Roger who was working hard through the pandemic to make sure shelves in supermarkets to farm shops were stocked.

That’s why we’re also asking you to nominate a hard-working and dedicated person or team for our farming awards.

How to nominate for the farming awards

How to nominate for the health and social care awards

Hereford Times Comment: A time to tell of when heroes stepped forward