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Neighbour In A Million Wins Award

A SELFLESS pensioner described as a “neighbour in a million” has beaten off competition from over 200 people to scoop a housing association’s Good Neighbour of the Year award.

Muriel Wisdom, of Marsden Road, South Shields, took the first prize in the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) annual awards.

The 76-year-old was nominated by her neighbour Eileen Duff who praised Muriel for all the support she has given her as she battles to overcome cancer

Mrs Duff said:”Muriel has only been a my neighbour a few months and has been there every step of the way, doing the shopping for me, taking me to the hospital and the doctors, and making sure I am eating properly.

“In October I had to go into hospital for a big operation and Muriel came with me to make sure I was ok. When I woke up she was standing over me with her hospital gown on and it was like seeing an angel in front of me.

“She is loving and kind to everyone and truly is a neighbour in a million.”

A modest Mrs Wisdom, who at an awards ceremony in Chester-le-Street received a trophy, plaque and cheque for £150, said: “Eileen has become my best friend and anything I have done has been to help make her as comfortable as possible as she battles to overcome cancer, which I know she will.

“I am flattered to receive this award but the real prize should go to Eileen. She is a real fighter and an inspiration.”

Gordon Parkin, President of Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association, said: “Mrs Wisdom exemplifies everything about these awards and her selfless and caring attitude makes her a worthy winner.

“These awards are one of the highlights of the year and it is very satisfying to see that across the North East neighbourly spirit is still very much in evidence.”

DAMHA received over 200 nominations for the 2011 Good Neighbour Awards, which are sponsored by Aareon UK Ltd. This is the 13th year the housing association has staged the awards.

The winner of the second prize was Hilda Gowland, from Hopper Street, Easington Village. She was nominated by her neighbour Dorothy Robson who says her “special friend” helps her with numerous jobs inside and outside the house.

She says: “I am more or less housebound and Hilda is willing to help me with anything I can’t manage myself.”

The winner of the third prize was Tom Flowers, from Gilesgate, Durham who was nominated by neighbour Henry Little. Mr Little’s wife died in January this year and says without Mr Flower’s support he doesn’t think he would have survived the year.

Hilda received a plaque and a cheque for £100, whilst Tom received a plaque and cheque for £75.