Meet nine people, including Pastor Mick Fleming, Dave Fishwick and Vincent Kompany, who help make Burnley great and move it forward

Burnley is shining - even the Prime Minister says so.

Manchester Evening News wrote in April that the town is having a moment in the sun following the release of the smash-hit Netflix film Bank of Dave.

The Dave Fishwick biopic showed the world that we are fun, friendly, and down-to-earth.

Five days later, the Prime Minister visited the area to see how £32m. Government investment will transform our town centre, education, healthcare, and transport systems.

PM Rishi Sunak echoed the MEN, saying: “There is so much happening in Burnley”.

In May, the magnificent champions parade marked a historic season for the Clarets. It was amazing to see thousands of football fans lining the streets from the town hall to Turf Moor to celebrate the team they had supported through thick and thin.

And with the rich and famous publicly expressing their love for the town - Dave Fishwick, Jordan North, JJ Watt, King Charles, even Snoop Dog - you could say Burnley is developing a name for itself globally.

We agree with American NFL legend JJ, who said, “the people here are incredible”. The borough is glowing. It is an exciting time to live and work here.

Of course, it still has issues, like every other town in the UK post-pandemic. Addiction and poverty seem more visible than I remembered since moving back home last year, particularly in the town centre. It was heart-breaking to learn that nearly a quarter of children - 4,803 - are so poor their families cannot afford food and shelter, and it is sad that at least 10 food banks serve the area.

Antisocial behaviour is another problem facing most towns and regularly needs nipping in the bud. Police have tackled 1,613 cases of ASB in Burnley in the past three years. It is the most common crime, comprising 34.2% of reports, followed by violence/sexual offences (19.5%) and shoplifting (19.4%).

But we also have many inspiring people trying to tackle these issues and stop their neighbours from falling through the cracks. When the pandemic and cost of living crisis hit, residents pulled together.

The first Above and Beyond Awards in March was a fantastic example of this and another moment of town pride. Take the team behind Burnley Community Grocery - named the Food Champion - which has opened its second support hub to stop people from going hungry.

While we aim to celebrate as many of our local heroes as possible, there are too many to mention at once. So here are just nine of our Burnley champions helping to move the town forward: