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A Godsend

A Godsend

A man described as a “Godsend” has won DAMHA’s good neighbour of the year award.

Having received more nominations than anyone else, Billy Parker was the overwhelming choice of the judges who voted in the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) 2021 Good Neighbour of the Year competition

The 62-year-old who lives in one of DAMHA’s homes in Marsden Road, South Shields, was nominated by many of his neighbours.

Comments included:

“This gentleman has been a Godsend to myself and my husband who because of illness cannot manage grass and hedge cutting. He did it for us and refuses praise and any reward.”

“Billy is always helping us here with whatever he can and is so kind, thoughtful and very respectful.”

“Billy has done so many jobs for me and won’t accept payment as he just likes to help people. He is a great neighbour.”

A modest Billy receives a trophy, plaque, and payment of £150 in recognition of winning the award.

He said: “I am still fit enough to be able to do jobs and lots of my neighbours unfortunately struggle due to their age, so I am more than happy to help when I can.

“I didn’t know anyone had nominated me but to then discover I had also won was massive.”

Paul Mullis, DAMHA Chief Executive, said: “Mr Parker was a clear and deserving winner of this year’s award; having gone the extra mile on countless occasions to help his neighbours.

“He is a great example of why we have presented this award over the last 20-plus years.”

Second prize, and receiving a plaque and £100, were Sheila and Mike Hayes, from Pelton Fell, and third prize, and receiving a plaque and £75 went to Brian Bage, from Hartlepool.

Paul added: “It’s always difficult singling out individuals as it’s clear that the people living in our homes are looking after each, day in, day out, and being so kind.

“It’s incredible to see and they are an example to us all.”