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Co-op Members joined forces with members of Neighbourhood Watch to help us track down the UK’s best neighbours for our Neighbour of the Year Awards. We can now reveal the wonderful people who are our regional and national winners. Prepare to be inspired!
National winner – Paul Zeun, Sheffield
Nominated by Abby Wilson.
Paul and Abby became friends 10 years ago when Paul came to Abby’s rescue when she locked herself out of her flat. Since then, Paul has not only helped Abby with lifts to hospital, cat-sitting and decorating, he’s shared his DIY skills with other neighbours and brings their local community together with Christmas parties and BBQ’s he organises.
North West winner – Christine and Jim Hartley, Thelwall
Nominated by Co-op member, Pat McLaren
Christine and Jim have turned around a run-down pub to make it the heart of their community. They deliver community cheer by helping individuals with everything from key holding and meals on wheels to cat feeding. They even put on free events and monthly walks to bring the whole community together.
“They are truly lovely neighbours and we’re really lucky to have them. They’ve transformed the pub into a place where everyone is happy to meet and have a chat.” Pat McLaren
North East winner – Kelly Taylor, County Durham
Nominated by Maureen and her granddaughter Jasmine, a Co-op member
Maureen has offered ongoing support for Maureen’s family, from taking Maureen to hospital appointments, to preparing meals for the family and even fixing electrical items.
“She’s the best neighbour I could have asked for and I honestly wouldn’t swap her for anyone.” Maureen
West Midlands winner – Tony Marshall, Walsall
Nominated by Co-op member, Dawn Allison
Tony has played a hugely proactive role in his local Neighbourhood Watch groups and in working with local primary schools to share key community safety messages with children.
South West Neighbour or the Year – Peter Hanson, Whitestone, Exeter
Nominated by Sue Llewelyn
Peter has been bringing his community together for 14 years, from arranging socials and art exhibitions to pulling together a working party to refurbish the Parish Hall. He coordinates a village email that, alongside the usual notices, enables locals to post items they no longer want and find pre-loved things they need.
“As we don’t have a shop or pub in the village, the hall is the only place for people to gather, and Peter ensures that it is always a buzzing hive of activity.” Sue Llewelyn.
South East winner – Trudi Savin, Redhill
Nominated by Co-op Member, Jacki Jenkins
Trudi Savin was nominated for her selfless acts of kindness towards her neighbours and her ongoing efforts to bring people in the community together for fun street parties and to address local issues like parking and noise.
“Trudy is a truly special neighbour and has become a very dear friend. She is inclusive, but not nosey. I think that’s why we all love her – she is a genuinely good person.” Jackie Jenkins
East Midlands winner – Anne Sharp, Overstone
Nominated by Kay Giles
Anne offered Kay a warm welcome when she moved to the area, and has since continued to help with gardening, pet-sitting and sharing produce from her allotment. In her role as a Parish Councillor, Anne also devotes her time to others in the community and brings her experience as a retired nurse to local health and wellbeing initiatives.
“Anne is such a sociable person and always makes time for people, whether she’s keeping an eye on the house or giving someone a lift to the hospital.” Kay Giles
Scotland winner – Julie Ross and Elaine Barry, Greenock
Nominated by Co-op member, Chloe Nightingale
Julie and Elaine have show Chloe and her four children endless kindness and support. The pair have helped with everything from plumbing-in Chloe’s washing machine, to providing haircuts, clothes and presents for the children.
“Julie and Elaine are legendary – real stars of our close. They’re always willing to give so much, whether it’s offering time or thoughtful gift; they are the kindest neighbours I could ask for!” Chloe Nightingale
London winner – Norman Rey, Hornsey
Nominated by Co-op member, Dennis Owler
Since moving to the area from Toronto 12 years ago, Norman has continuously looked out for his elderly neighbours. He makes a huge difference by helping with shopping, gardening and housework and arranging get-togethers for everyone.
“Norman is highly thought of by all who live on the road and he is a true Good Samaritan who can always be relied on.” Dennis Owler
East of England winner – Wendy Squire, Peterborough
Nominated by John Sharman
Wendy is an animal-lover, acting as the first port of call when a dog is lost, hurt or becomes homeless in the area and walks dogs for a local charity. She‘s a key member of the local Residents’ Association, the lynchpin for the community’s annual ‘Festival on the Green’ and an all-round ‘good egg to many elderly neighbours.
“Wendy is extremely caring but shows her care in so many practical ways. She is friendly and approachable and relentless in getting people to be involved with the Festival!” John Sharman
Wales winner – Nicola Bee-Jones, Penygroes, Gwynedd
Nominated by Co-op Member, Heather
Nicola does selfless things for her all neighbours. She helped Heather, a newcomer to the area, translate things from Welsh to English and shared her knowledge of local services. She also accepts parcels, house sits and looks after neighbours’ pets. The two have become great friends and help each other as they both suffer long term health problems.
“Nicola is a well-known friendly face and knows many people in the area. Whether she’s having a BBQ or a few friends round, she always makes sure that we get an invitation.” Heather
It’s impossible not to be inspired by these amazing stories of neighbourliness, and I’d like to thank all the members who took time to nominate their neighbours. I’d also like to personally thank all our winners for their tireless efforts to make the communities they live in more inclusive, friendly and safe places to be.
If you’d like to get involved and help shape your Co-op, please sign in to your member account to see what opportunities are available.
Head of Home Insurance
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