Good Neighbourhood Awards

Good Neighbourhood Awards 2021 – Winner of the Neighbour of the Year Award

Written by Roisin O'Neill

Nextdoor’s Good Neighbourhood Awards are all about championing the power of local communities and with almost 5,000 entries, we’ve had a bumper year. Neighbours all across the UK have come together to nominate the amazing individuals, groups and businesses that have supported their communities over the past year. The winner of the Neighbour of the Year is Sheree Whetren for the incredible transformation of her local train station.

Sheree Whetren goes above and beyond to bring joy to local commuters of Hedge End station. She decided to use her position as a South West Rail worker and Customer and Community Ambassador for Hedge End to make a difference in her local community.

Concerned with the mental health of the community during lockdown, Sheree made links with local schools to arrange a number of art competitions that reflected local historical and cultural events. She displayed the colourful artwork in the station bringing much-needed joy to local residents travelling.

She encourages families to take healthy walks outside to view the colourful displays and even managed to organise a permanent art installation at the station, painted by the children of Berrywood Primary School. The artwork encourages train users to ‘be kind’ and ‘act safe’.

Determined not to stop there Sheree arranged Rail Safety talks, donated books to the school library has also raised funds for Action for Children as well as gifts for the elderly in the community last Christmas.

On the award win, Sheree Whetren said:

’This award is more about the community than myself, as I couldn’t have won without them pulling together. The small acts that I have achieved have had a ripple effect in the neighbourhoods and I would like to thank the community for voting for me – this award is for all of them too.’’

The small station has now become a real community hub and Sheree continues to highlight what is possible if you put your mind to it.

“Sheree is an outstanding individual who tirelessly goes above and beyond for anyone she comes across. We, as a community are very pleased that Sheree took the job at the station 2 years ago.”

Nextdoor’s Neighbour of the Year 2021 Sheree Whetren pictured at Hedge End Train Station 21.9.21 ©Richard Eaton 07778 395888

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