By Vikki McCrindle, Press Officer, Life Services

In partnership with our friends at Neighbourhood Watch, Co-op Insurance has started the annual nationwide search to find and celebrate some of the UK’s best neighbours.

This is all part of the work we’re doing to make communities safer and better places to live. Our previous winners included Shaun Blagdon who did amazing work bringing his community together during lockdown to make sure the most vulnerable were supported.

This year, we’re absolutely delighted to share the wonderful news that we’re working with a very special guest judge. Hannah Ingram-Moore – daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore and Co-founder of The Captain Tom Foundation, will be joining the panel of judges to find some of the UK’s most remarkable and outstanding neighbours.

Along with the Neighbour of the Year and Young Neighbour of the Year (aged 21 and under) categories, an exciting new category has also been added this year – Community of the Year. 

In the last year and a half, virtual socialising and working has become the new normal. Together with Neighbourhood Watch, we agreed it was only right to introduce this new category and broaden the awards even further. A ‘community’ can relate to a physical, in person community but it can also mean a virtual community, which could be over Facebook, What’sApp or Teams. 

When we caught up with Hannah to talk her through the awards, she said: 

My father moved to Bedfordshire to live in our family home in 2007. We lived together as a multi-generational family for thirteen 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.

If you know a great neighbour or fantastic community, we want to hear from you. Help us spread the word about these amazing awards by sharing this with your friends and family. You can also make a nomination in any of the categories: neighbour, young neighbour or community of the year. All the details you need can be found at https://www.coop.co.uk/noty.

Nominations are open from Tuesday 14 September to Tuesday 26 October with the winners announced in early December.