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New community category unveiled for Co-op Neighbour of the Year awards

By Alan Beresford

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THE Co-op have launched their annual search for the Neighbour of the Year.

There is a new category in this year's Co-op Neighbour of the Year Award.
There is a new category in this year's Co-op Neighbour of the Year Award.

In addition to the Neighbour of the Year and Young Neighbour of the Year – for those aged 21 or under – a new category of Community of the Year is now up for grabs.

To mark the launch of the awards, online data released by Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch has revealed that medics are the top neighbour of choice for Brits, with 14 per cent of those surveyed in Scotland saying they would most like to live next door to a medical professional – including a nurse, doctor, dentist or paramedic – as many believe their skills might be useful in a crisis.

Retired people came in second in the poll as the ideal person to live next door to (sevn per cent), with builders holding the position of third place (seven per cent).

As the nation emerges from the Covid crisis, the survey of over 2000 Brits also revealed the qualities that make the perfect neighbour. Of those surveyed in Scotland, 83 per cent agreed that neighbours should be friendly but not nosy, and almost half (49 per cent) confirmed that neighbours who are willing to do small jobs – such as receiving parcels, watering plants and picking up the post while they are on holiday – are all top traits.

Quiet neighbouring households ranked highly, with 45 per cent saying that neighbours with no, or quiet children is considered the ideal, while 34 per cent said the same about pets.

Some 51 per cent said that checking in on the vulnerable or elderly is the trait of an ideal neighbour.

Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch are working with Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore and co-founder of the Captain Tom Foundation, to find the nation’s most remarkable neighbours in the 2021 Neighbour of the Year Awards.

She said: “My father moved to Bedfordshire to live in our family home in 2007, and we lived together as a multi-generational family for 13 special years in a lovely close-knit community.

"My father was a true believer in the power of social cohesion.”

“The compassion and support that people across the world showed to my father and family was staggering. Now, the national search is on to find the country’s hero neighbours and community. I am excited to uncover all those special stories about how people have been going the extra mile to help people in their neighbourhoods.”

Charles Offord, Managing Director, Co-op Insurance, commented: “At Co-op Insurance, the safety and wellbeing of our communities is incredibly important to us.

SSafe and happy neighbourhoods form the bedrock of society and we are committed to highlighting the amazing work that our unsung heroes carry out day in day out.”

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO at Neighbourhood Watch Network, added: “With us all still feeling the impact of Covid both personally and in our communities, having good neighbours is as vital now as it was during lockdown, particularly for our continued safety and mental wellbeing.

"We can all be a good neighbour no matter our age.

"This year, we are delighted to introduce a brand-new Community of the Year category. If you know of a great neighbour or fantastic community, we want to hear from you.”

To nominate your neighbour, young neighbour or community of the year please visit https://www.coop.co.uk/noty.

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