The Argus today begins its annual search for the hidden heroes of Sussex.

Adults and children who have proved themselves to be brave or extra special will be honoured in The Argus Achievement Awards 2004.

We need you to pick the people you think should win.

The Argus has been filled with tales of heroism, bravery, tragedy and crime throughout the year.

However, behind the headlines are individuals working to make a difference to people's lives.

They show extreme courage, kindness, generosity and achievement but often go unnoticed.

The Argus Achievement Awards, now in their third year, will give those people the recognition they deserve with the help of sponsors Seeboard Energy. Awards are given in 12 categories and, starting today, we will publish a voting form so you can make your nominations.

For the next two weeks we will be profiling the categories with examples to inspire people to send in their suggestions.

When nominations close on April 8 a panel of judges will whittle down each category to three final contenders.

Details of finalists will be published in a special supplement and the public asked to choose the winners.

Each finalist and the person who nominated them will be invited to a glamorous awards evening at the Brighton Metropole Hotel on May 21. The host is once again ITN newsreader Nicholas Owen, who has fronted the ceremony since the awards began in 2002.

Categories are: Achiever of the Year; Parent of the Year; Angel of the Year; Courageous Child of the Year Beyond the Call of Duty Award; School of the Year; Pupil of the Year; Teacher of the Year; Charity of the Year; Good Neighbour of the Year and Local Hero of the Year.

The final category is the Contribution to Sussex Award, which will be chosen by editor of The Argus Simon Bradshaw and the winner will be announced on the night of the awards ceremony.

The Beyond the Call of Duty Award will again be made in memory of Jeff Tooley, a police officer knocked down and killed in Shoreham in 1999.

The Local Hero of the Year Award will be in memory of actor Adam Faith, who died last year.

Amy Wright, community sponsorship manager at Seeboard Energy, said: "We are dedicated to rewarding our customers and those in the community we serve and what better way than by recognising the outstanding contribution made by many selfless people."

Mr Bradshaw said: "Having seen the stories behind the nominations in previous years I am sure this year's awards will be equally memorable."