1059 words approx. 5 minutes to read

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

Member Participation - Jim Christine

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

MEmber participation - Neighbour awards - Wedn Easy of england

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

Member participation - nic 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.

Co-op Members shape our Co-op by joining in #TheCoopWay

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.

Caroline Hunter,
Head of Home Insurance

Read more on how members shape our Co-op;


Leave a Reply


Insurance, Join In