Paul Zeun, 53, was nominated by his neighbour, 38 year-old Abby Wilson, for his consistent caring and kind behaviour over the past decade. Paul and Abby became friends 10 years ago when he came to her rescue after she locked herself out of her flat.
Since then, Paul has not only helped Abby with lifts to hospital, cat sitting and decorating, he’s shared his DIY skills with other neighbours and brings their local community together at Christmas parties and barbecues. As a result of the gatherings, the neighbours now celebrate their birthdays together.
Paul has also cared for terminally ill neighbours and looks after others by doing their shopping for them. He plants flowers and shares vegetables from his allotment with his neighbours, as well as the food he makes with his own-grown produce, such as jams and pickles.
For the awards, Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch asked the public for nominations – and Co-op members were also asked to come up with the criteria for the awards. They said the traits of a good neighbour include looking out for each other, being sociable and friendly, offering practical help and being respectful of everyone in the neighbourhood.
And to show how Paul fits the bill, Abby said: “Paul has done so much for me and the wider community and he is an extremely deserving winner of this award.
“A number of residents live alone, yet Paul makes sure they are never lonely. His kindness and generosity is always felt, even when he himself is in need or having difficult times.”
Paul said: “I’m totally overwhelmed to win this award. I enjoy helping people and getting everyone chatting. If we all did this, the world would be a much happier place.”
Regional winners up and down the country also celebrated scooping their Best Neighbour Awards – see the full list here.