Ely Hero Awards 2019: Meet Neighbour of the Year award winner and finalists

Ely Hero Awards 2019: Neighbour of the Year award winners Barry and Joan Lonsdale

Ely Hero Awards 2019: Neighbour of the Year award winners Barry and Joan Lonsdale

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This category was described as "really inspiring" as good neighbours improve the quality of their lives without looking for reward, recognition or thanks.

The judges said: "All the nominees had started with just small acts of kindness or neighbourliness which has grown to include not only other individuals but the community generally.

"All the candidates worked really hard to ensure that they created a supportive and enabling environment for other local residents and the community at large.

"All the nominees are real winners and I congratulate them all on their nominations."

The award winners, sponsored by Elyi Magazine, were Barry and Joan Lonsdale.

Meet the winners

Barry and Joan

Barry and Joan have lived in Burwell for many years. Serving on the Parish Council they have initiated such activities as the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and the new welcome packs given to all new residents in the area.

Comfort and safety of their neighbours are important to them. Their nominators describe them as "the best neighbours we could hope for, they are so helpful, but they also do such much for the local community in Burwell, Soham and Ely".

Setting up a local charity shop and supporting fundraising events, Barry and Joan have never been as busy!

Their scope of neighbourliness is huge covering many aspects of the village giving up front support and working behind the scenes.

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Lisa Cousins

Lisa, a busy mum working full time is no stranger to difficulty. She has worked hard to overcome her own long-term illness.

Being described by her nominator as "the best neighbour", despite what life has thrown at her, Lisa will be there for her neighbours at the drop of a hat providing homemade soup if anyone is ill, litter picking, arranging removal of larger pieces of rubbish that have been dumped in the area, reporting any bigger issues to the council if required.

Her nominator says "Lisa deserves to be recognised for her silent contribution to Ely, she is a model neighbour!"

Encouraging positive day to day activities really makes a huge difference to those around her, Lisa is desirous of a tidy environment which she feels contributes to a real community feel.

Bernette Britton

75-year-old Bernette is a local artist still exhibiting in Ely.

Bernette has her own personal disabilities and cares for her elderly husband. She has been named as "the loveliest neighbour" by her much younger disabled nominator who suffers from a rare disease requiring constant support.

Part of that support comes from the lovely Bernette who provides her neighbour with practical and emotional support, becoming a "surrogate mother" to this young lady.

Getting to know all her neighbours is very important to Bernette and so is keeping in touch with those who move away.

A delightful, kind and thoughtful lady who loves and cares for those she lives around. "She has taught me so much about neighbourly love" says her nominator.

Content taken from the Ely Hero Awards brochure 2019 with thanks to Metro Rod Cambridge and Infiniti Graphics.

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