Following the success of last year’s inaugural award, they are again looking for people to nominate their neighbours who go above and beyond to help their neighbourhood and surrounding community, to find the UK’s Neighbour of the Year 2019.
This year sees the introduction of a new category to crown someone the ‘2019 Community Spaces Champion’. This will celebrate someone who has shown commitment to either save, improve, or use a local space for the good of their neighbours or overall community.
The Community Space Champion award comes as the Co-op Group partners with charity Locality to launch an Endangered Spaces campaign to protect, support and improve 2,000 at-risk community spaces by 2022.
This could include projects like sports matches for neighbours at a local park; community gardens; support groups in a community; or helping to save a space from being shut down.
A panel of judges from Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch will select the overall Neighbour of the Year winner, and who will be crowned Community Space Champion in November. There are also regional prizes up for grabs.
Last year, Co-op members came up with the judging criteria of four traits that make a good neighbour: sociable and friendly; practically helpful; kind, caring and respectful; and looking out for each other.
Last year’s Neighbour of the Year, Paul Zeun, came from Sheffield and was nominated by his neighbour, Abby. Paul, 53, was commended for his consistent caring and neighbourly behaviour over the past decade.
Rebecca Birkbeck, the Co-op Group’s director of community and shared value, said: “To see the range of entries we get this year will be fantastic; we expect these awards will show just how important a sense of community wellbeing is, and how spaces play such a crucial role in allowing people to come together to ensure happy and healthy communities.”