Good Neighbourhood Awards

The Good Neighbour Awards 2020 – meet the winners!

Written by Patrick Grier

2020 marks the 3rd year of the Good Neighbour Awards at Nextdoor. Over the last two years, we’ve seen winners from across the UK going above and beyond for their neighbours in the most selfless ways possible for all types of reasons. But this year, in partnership with The Sunday Times, it felt right to focus the awards on how neighbours helped each other during the lockdown. 

Everyone knows a local hero who deserves a Good Neighbour Award – particularly this year, which has seen the competition receive three times as many nominations as last year. The winners were therefore categorised, in order to represent the lengths that neighbours went to every day in order to help each other through the crisis. 

This is simply an introduction to this year’s winners. Over the coming weeks, we will post more blog posts on them, as well as those who didn’t win but who we felt deserved to be recognised for their inspirational neighbourly actions. 

Here are the Nextdoor 2020 Good Neighbour Award Winners…

The Most Creative Neighbour Award – Alistair Watson, Edinburgh

Alastair owns his own business which has had to close due to coronavirus. When he saw the shortage of PPE in the news and a call out for 3D printers to get involved, he used his two 3D printers to start printing face shields, to be provided to frontline workers or anyone in need. Due to having no income and having to furlough staff, he struggled to afford the filaments needed to make the visors. He asked his Nextdoor community if anyone would like to donate a roll of filament to help increase output. The community started to deliver dozens of filament rolls directly to his house, and someone suggested setting up a go fund me page so that they could share the message further. He did just that: raising over £4000, which has helped to buy more filament, two new printers and cover the expenses of the volunteers.

Alistair coordinated deliveries and pickups, as well as help to assemble the face shields, through the community of volunteers on Nextdoor. As a result, over 1500 face shields have been sent out to organisations across Scotland, including charities, care homes, hospitals, doctors surgeries and dental practices in Edinburgh, Dumfries, Lanark, Fife and more. 

The Best Collective of Neighbours Award – United Neighbours, North London

In North-West London, a group of residents living in St John’s Wood were feeling concerned about the elderly, self-isolating and vulnerable who were finding it difficult to get food due to lockdown. So, Emma-Jayne Wright decided to post on Nextdoor to see if anybody would like a home-cooked meal. What happened next snowballed into a wave of kindness across the area and the creation of United Neighbours.

Soon after Emma-Jayne did her first post, she was contacted by two of her neighbours, taking her up on the offer of a home-cooked meal, as well as by others who wanted to help. What started off small; Emma-Jayne making two meals and delivering them herself, quickly grew after Natalia Sloam and Shirit Kedar offered to help with the distribution of the meals and Priya Chandaria joined in with the cooking. United Neighbours now provides a staggering 50-60 meals a day, three days a week.

With a core team of four and 12 volunteers in total, the self-funded collective utilises Nextdoor to appeal to anyone who is in need of food delivery. However, their kindness doesn’t just stop at the food delivery – the team’s children write messages on the packaging, providing contact information for the team. That way, if anyone they are delivering to would like to talk to someone, all they have to do is pick up the phone.

The Best Heart of the Community Award – Mish Rahman, Walsall

Mish was seriously ill in January 2019 with pneumonia. Despite the difficulties he’s had over the past year, he was one of the first people in his community to respond locally when it came to helping his neighbours during the COVID-19 lockdown, delivering food parcels to the homes of those who were self-isolating. In order to help non-English speaking residents in his area, he created videos in Bengali to spread awareness of how to protect yourself and act responsibly during the rise of COVID-19. But it’s not just COVID that has turned Mish into a neighbourhood hero: last year he helped a homeless person by putting them up in a hotel whilst he worked with the council to find him permanent accommodation.

The Best Neighbourhood Business Award – Kay and Gary Deare, Glampton Village, Devon

Kay and Gary run the local village shop, which has become so much more than a convenience store. During the difficult times of the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s been the rock of the community. With a deeply loyal customer base, the business owners wanted to ensure that everyone in the village would receive their essential supplies, as members of their rural community were struggling to access daily necessities. They started out doing eight deliveries a week but it quickly turned into 80, covering the village and beyond. 

The Best Neighbourhood Leader Award – Daniel Cooke, Stoke

Dan is a Nextdoor Neighbourhood Lead who, as well as working for the NHS, leads the local “Community Action Group”, helping his neighbours with just about anything they might need. During the isolation lockdown period, he used Nextdoor to recruit over 100 volunteers to help deliver food and medicine to those who were self-isolating. Going the extra mile, Dan made sure that all volunteers had the correct PPE, guidance notes and daily updates expressing thanks and support. He has now recruited local area coordinators to ease some of the strain, but every single day is taken up with ensuring residents are secure, supported and listened to during this difficult time. Dan is also a very active member on Nextdoor, and has created many posts of support for his fellow NHS colleagues, as well as updating the community as a Lead.

The Best Street of Neighbours Award – Flamstone Street in Wiltshire

Hester Kirkham nominated her entire street, who provided her with a lifeline following the death of her husband just before the outbreak of coronavirus. During lockdown, being elderly and in the vulnerable category, her neighbours rallied around to help her with food and prescription drop-offs. Hester’s children and family all live in the USA, so since her husband died, her support network during lockdown was largely based around her neighbours. To repay the favour, Hester regularly buys everyone on her street a Sunday roast which they eat together at the end of their driveways, observing social distancing.  

Stay tuned for the next blog about this year’s Good Neighbour Awards – more to come…

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