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Nextdoor finds the UK’s six best neighbours

Written by Alice Skeats

Following hundreds of nominations from across the UK, today we are proud to announce the six amazing and inspirational winners of our Good Neighbour Awards 2019.

Returning for a second year, our Good Neighbour Awards see Nextdoor members nominate those in their communities that have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their neighbourhood. This year, six winners have been selected from across the UK who have had a positive impact in their local communities. 

Nick Lisher, Nextdoor’s UK Country Manager, comments on the Awards: “Nextdoor is the essential local app for neighbours to stay informed, get connected and help each other in their everyday lives.” 

“Our Good Neighbour Awards are our way of thanking those amazing neighbours that have gone the extra mile for their community, and celebrating what being a good neighbour is all about. This year we whittled down our incredible six winners from hundreds of nominations from all across the UK.”

Although research shows 73% of people in Britain don’t know the names of their neighbours, the overwhelming majority of British people (69%) crave a sense of community, believing that it would make where they live friendlier and increase property values, but also help neighbours feel safer and reduce crime.

Nextdoor is helping neighbours do just this; creating cate meaningful social impact in their local communities right across the UK. 

All six the Good Neighbour Award 2019 winners have demonstrated their commitment to improving their community, whether that’s building community spirit and inclusion through community events, transforming neighbourhood streets and gardens for all to enjoy, driving initiatives that support local crime and safety awareness, or going above and beyond for a specific neighbour in need.  

About the winners:

(Left to right: Dorinda who nominated Robert for the Good Neighbour Award)

Robert Harwood from Caterham, Surrey –  Robert has gone above and beyond to provide support and help for a disabled neighbour who fell on hard times, becoming homeless and experiencing mental health issues and addiction. Nick, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, was befriended by Robert after seeing him in the town centre. Robert didn’t just provide one off help, he supported Nick over a year. He helped Nick find secure accommodation, provided living essentials, and organised support from the local council and the NHS GP surgery in order to help him get back on track. 

(Left to right: Winner Elizabeth with Rosemary who nominated her for the award)

Elizabeth Robinson Ramos, Liverpool – Elizabeth is committed to making her neighbourhood something that the whole community can be proud of and can work together to maintain, transforming her local street into a beautiful oasis. Before, Beaconsfield Street was commonly considered to be unkempt and so Elizabeth decided to create mini community ecosystems with plants and flowers, as well as organising fun activities for local children, getting them involved in the upkeep of the flower beds and vegetable patches. The alleyway behind the street has also been transformed – it used to be filled with broken glass and was a hotbed for flytipping, now it looks more like the gateway to Kew Gardens.

(Bottom left to right: Winners Olga and Wayne in their home community cinema)

Olga & Wayne Johnson, Tunbridge Wells, Kent – Olga’s husband and Wayne’s father, Barry Littlechild, was a BBC producer and film enthusiast who shared his passion of the big screen with the community, by converting their garage into a 16 seat cinema, the smallest in the UK. When Barry passed away a few years ago, Olga and Wayne decided to carry on his tradition, offering weekly screenings and free refreshments, for all of the neighbourhood to enjoy. Olga promotes the film screenings on Nextdoor to ensure everyone knows all about them and they’ve since become pillars in their community, providing a place for multiple generations to come together to enjoy the magic of movies. 

Winner Fayden at one of the Stechford in Bloom gardens

Faydene Gillings-Grant, Birmingham – Faydene is an intrinsic part of making her community feel like a home. Originally from Jamaica, Faydene moved to the UK and made Birmingham her home in 1996, instantly embedding herself in the community by working as a librarian. In her local area Stechford, she spearheads area clean-ups and has organised and recruited for England’s ‘In Bloom Project’ for the last three years, winning awards. She offers advice on the benefits system, runs her local food bank, provides free music lessons to local children, and so much more for the local community, bringing neighbourhood solidarity back through her efforts! 

Winner Joanne Boal (centre) with neighbours June McWatters and Rose Sidey

Joanne Boal from Belfast, N. Ireland  – Joanne, who’s the founding member and lead of her Ravenhill community on Nextdoor, works tirelessly to bring community cohesion to her area of Belfast and her efforts have had a tangible result. Last year, Joanne took on the challenge of organising an inclusive Royal Wedding celebration for her entire street in Belfast. With the help of Nextdoor, Joanne invited all 76 households to join in with the event, which saw neighbours, young and old, come together to enjoy good food, conversation and company. The event was such a success, Joanne held another street party this year as part of the Big Lunch. The difference in the area speaks for itself; people now leave their front doors open – a traditional sign that they would welcome visitors!

James Fee from Belfast, N. Ireland – James was repeatedly nominated as one of the most proactive and tireless members of his community in Lisburn Road, fighting for change. He is constantly in talks with the police, politicians and local councillors to make positive changes to the neighbourhood, as well as raising awareness of crimes that happen in the area – all on his own time. As the founding member and lead for his neighbourhood on Nextdoor, he updates his community with regular posts so that other residents have visibility about what’s going on in their area. As a result of his leadership for the neighbourhood, residents have noticed a drop in crime, especially anti-social behaviour. 

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