Why I don’t like the term ‘Unsung Hero’

After winning many ‘Unsung Hero’ type awards myself, I don’t think many people would expect me to have such an issue with the term ‘Unsung Hero’ but I do!

In towns and cities around the world various ‘Unsung Hero’ awards are given out every year, like the ones in the links below:



The key thing I don’t like about these awards is the fact they are every year. For years and years we have had these awards and we will have them for years to come. This proves that these awards aren’t really changing the public perception and attitudes, as we still have to have these awards so these people are recognised and celebrated, which I don’t think is a good thing.

A pat on the back

In award ceremonies the Unsung Hero award is never the main category. It is normally always the only award with the word unsung in it, as everyone else gets to be Fundraiser of the Year, Carer of the Year, Teacher of the Year etc. To me, by the way the award is treated, it is like giving someone a very patronising pat on the back.

Dictionary Definition

Why can’t the Unsung Hero award be just the Hero award? As when I looked up the definition of hero on Google it said:

A person, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.


Can we change the term?

Now doesn’t that sound like what the winners of Unsung Hero awards are? Why do they need the word ‘Unsung’ in front of it? Wouldn’t the award get more recognition and people talking if they were called the ‘Hero Awards’?
There shouldn’t be a separate category for the amazing people who win these Unsung Hero style awards. The winners should be put in the same echelons as any other award winner, in any other award category and any awards show.

Surely the point of Unsung Hero Awards are to shine a light on them and to get them more recognition? Sometimes I think the way these awards are branded it is having the opposite effect. The awards should be about changing societies opinion on who we see as a hero and who we should be talking about. The type of people that win these awards should be getting recognised everyday, not just when a company wants to give out an award. After someone has won one of these awards it seems like we don’t hear about him or her again, but they are probably still going around everyday doing great things in their community.


Don’t get me wrong I am proud to have won the awards that I have, I just wish we did more for these people and that we didn’t need to have the awards. In every community there are many heroes and I think it is all of our jobs to recognise them. Lets not just read stories about those that win awards. Lets look around us and make sure we are noticing those that are doing great things that haven’t won awards.

At times it seems the only way to get ahead is to be all about yourself. I think caring for and supporting others are some of the most important things we as humans can do. I think its time that these people start getting pushed to the front, not by awards alone, but by supporting them and honouring them in the best way we can. It is only when we do this that more people will be encouraged to be and have that desire to be what I think a hero truly is.

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