Special neighbours who go above and beyond recognised at Northampton awards

Sarah Balkam.
Sarah Balkam.

Social housing residents and volunteers, nominated in their neighbourhood for going the extra mile in the community, were honoured at an awards event in Northampton.

Good neighbours were celebrated by social housing organisation Northampton Partnership Homes at their second annual Community Hero Awards held this year at Northampton Football Club.

Jackie Streeton.

Jackie Streeton.

The event recognises those who go the extra mile to support their neighbours and help out their local community. Of 13 nominees, two winners took home the top spot.

'Great Neighbour': was won by Jackie Streeton, a resident of Camborne Close in Delapre, who went above and beyond to help a neighbour in need earlier in the year.

Earlier this year Jackie set up a Facebook campaign to help an elderly neighbour struggling with alcohol dependency, and went to Facebook to ask people and local businesses to donate goods and items to their neighbour.

Within a fortnight the neighbour's bungalow had been decked out with carpets, a three-piece suite, pots and pans and cupboards full of food. During that time Jackie scrubbed the place clean from top to bottom.

The nominees pictured at the awards ceremony last Thursday (April 11).

The nominees pictured at the awards ceremony last Thursday (April 11).

Jackie Streeton said: “I’m happy; I live every day and just want to be part of this community. He is happy now [neighbour]. People have donated so much to help him.”

Jackie’s neighbour Joyce who attended the awards event with her, went on stage to add her thanks to Jackie from neighbours in her street: “I nearly died last year [from an undiagnosed illness] and Jackie literally saved my life”. Jackie, who is a health care professional, said she was “overwhelmed by the response”.

'Community Champion': was won by Sarah Balkham, chair of Thorplands Residents Association.

Sarah is the current chair of the residents association in Thorplands and is working on a funding application to bring more old and young people together through activities in the community.

Sarah has been a part of the community in Thorplands for many years, previously at the parents council for the primary school. She is currently putting together an Easter event in Thorplands for kids to get involved in.

Sarah said: “I loved the event and it was great to meet other residents. I want to give back to the local area and love to volunteer as it gives me something to focus on.

"I’m applying for funding to help run a new event at Emmanuel Café to bring together the younger and older generation – cooking sessions for younger people where they will make meals for older people and socialise to help bridge the divide."

Sarah Passam, one of four judges of the award, and volunteer manager at Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, said: “The community awards is an opportunity for us all to say thank you and well done to those incredible people who choose to spend their free time doing something for their local community.

"To be nominated in itself is an amazing achievement and there are so many hardworking groups and individuals working hard to make a difference locally."