Good neighbour Alma is one in a million

A WOMAN who cared for her neighbour after she was diagnosed with cancer has been described as a “one in a million”.

Alma Gardiner’s selfless efforts have resulted in her receiving the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) Good Neighbour of the Year award.

The 71-year-old, who lives in St James Court, Consett, was the overwhelming choice of judges, who sifted through 120 nominations this year.

Alma was nominated by her neighbour Elizabeth Woodward for the help she gave her when she was diagnosed with cancer in August 2016.

Elizabeth said: “After I came home following my operation Alma stayed with me all the time.

“She made all of my meals, did my shopping and housework and fed my pets.

“I wasn’t eating properly until Alma took over my meals and even though I am now well on the road to recovery she still comes nearly every day.

“To me Alma is one in a million and she has become not just a neighbour, but a great friend too.”

Alma, who received a plaque and cheque for £150, said: “I feel very humbled to have been nominated by Elizabeth and to actually win the award is unbelievable.

“I didn’t do it for reward; I just wanted to help a neighbour and friend who was in need, but to be recognised in this way is very nice.

“My husband Bob deserves a mention because he helped to and I think I will spend my prize on taking him and Elizabeth out for a nice meal.”

The second prize went to Carol Sowerby, of Middlestone Moor, near Spennymoor. She was nominated by her neighbour Delia Warnett for the help she has given her following her own recovery from cancer. Carol receives a receives a plaque and cheque for £100.

Third prize went to Pat Shaw, who lives in the Aged Miners Homes in South Shields. She was nominated by Patricia Tate for the help she gives to her neighbours, including taking them for doctors/hospital appointments.

Paul Mullis, DAMHA Chief Executive, said: “We would like to congratulate Alma, Carol and Pat, but everyone who was nominated is deserving of a mention too. It’s pleasing to see so many selfless acts of kindness happening in the communities where we have homes.”

This year’s awards were once again sponsored by Aareon UK Ltd.

Presenting the winners with their prizes, Bel Holt, the company’s Account Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to be associated with these awards which demonstrate that community spirit is still very much alive and kicking in County Durham.”

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