Everybody needs good neighbours

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AN 85-year-old woman from south east Northumberland has been praised for going above and beyond the call of duty in the name of charity.

Elizabeth Saddleton, of Swarland Road in Seaton Delaval, won the ‘Good Neighbour’ accolade at Home for Northumberland’s Spirit of the Community Awards.

Elizabeth has spent almost 30 years collecting unwanted household items from neighbours on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

She has also knitted dolls for Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and Cancer Research UK.

Elizabeth said: “To tell you the truth, when I heard about the awards I said, ‘No, not me hinny, I don’t want anything’. I would rather be in the background.

“But I’m so pleased I went, it was very nice and I felt at home straight away.

“I am always doing something. I do an awful lot of knitting and I am always on the go.

“I have very good neighbours, it’s all about helping each other.”

Homes for Northumberland invited tenants to nominate neighbours, friends and groups whose endeavours have made a difference to them or the wider community.

The winners were then invited to an event at the Bede Academy in Blyth where they were presented with a prize from basketball star Fabulous Flournoy.

Other winners included Kurt Smith, of Blyth, who picked up the Young Person of the Year award for his role as a junior community warden at the Buffalo Centre, Blyth.

The 11-year-old has taken part in various activities to help improve his community, including litter picks and bulb planting.

Karen Mitchell, of Cramlington, received the Getting Involved award and John Angus, of Alnwick, was awarded Garden of the Year.

Meanwhile, Cowpen Quay Community Association were crowned Best Community Group.

The runners-up were Alan Fryer, of Blyth, for the Getting Involved award and Newsham and New Delaval Youth Forum for Best Community Group.

Tim Harris, interim director of neighbourhood services at Homes for Northumberland, said: “There are so many unsung heroes among tenants across Northumberland who give up their own time to help others.

“We hope that these awards will enable those people to be recognised and get the credit they deserve for making the communities in Blyth and Alnwick a better place to live.

“Well done to all who received an award.”