Dorothy Kirby is a lady you want on your side when you’re frail and elderly. Dorothy, of Stead Lane, Hoyland Common, was a warden carer for more than 30 years and although she says caring is “a lovely job” she wishes there was more thoughtfulness.
“There are families who don’t go to to see their elderly relatives for years and years,” she said. “I love old people and if we all stop caring about them, what does that mean? It means there will be no-one there for us.”
Dorothy, last year’s Good Neighbour of the Year, was approaching her 66th birthday when we spoke to her and had already received lots of cards and flowers.
She said: “After my award I got unbelievable congratulations and comments of support.”
Out in all weathers, seven days a week, Dorothy visits older people who look forward to her smile and her help.
She checks if they’re OK, does shopping, gets people up, washed and dressed and even puts in their eye drops.
Mum to two daughters and a son, and grandma to six boys, she’s now also busy having computer lessons at Hillcrest Community Centre.
It only takes a little bit of thoughtfulness and consideration to be a good neighbour. Neighbours can really appreciate the little acts of kindness that we could all do for each other.
Everyone needs good neighbours and we’d like you to tell us about yours.
The following points are intended as guidelines only, to help you with your nomination.
- Have they helped you out at a time of crisis or are they a good neighbour all the time?
- Do they help you with your garden or do the shopping for you when you can’t?
- Perhaps they have looked after your children so you can have a break or even go to work?
- Maybe they’ve just been there when you needed someone to talk to? Good Neighbours can be individuals of any age, couples, families or groups.
Actions of a good neighbour can be anything from helping an individual neighbour to motivating the neighbourhood to address a local issue or hosting a neighbourhood event. Good neighbours help to build connections between people and create a sense of community.
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Barnsley S70 2AS
Telephone: 01226 734734www.barnsley-chronicle.co.uk
The inaugural Proud of Barnsley Awards certainly achieved what they set out to do.
We knew there were hundreds of people out there who would all be worthy of an award – our challenge was getting these ordinary people to realise what they were quietly doing was actually quite extraordinary.
Between April and October last year, we were inundated with nominations and every week, the Barnsley Chronicle showcased many of the nominations in its pages.
Once the closing date had passed, the judges then faced the difficult task of drawing up the shortlists and picking the overall winners. That process alone took twice as long as we expected, with the session over-running so much that the judges were sent away with ‘homework’ of choosing the last few winners.
On the night of the awards last November, almost 300 people turned up to honour the finalists and hear their stories.
And what struck me was how the selfless work the finalists had put in to earn their nominations was acknowledged by everyone there.
Every finalist seemed to think that all the others on the shortlist were more worthy of an award than they were.
That is what Proud of Barnsley is all about – rewarding ordinary people for doing extraordinary things.
So we have even higher hopes for this year’s event – and the Chronicle is delighted to be sponsoring the Good Neighbour category.
This award isn’t just about thanking your next door neighbour who might do the odd bit of shopping for you; it’s all about the whole spirit of neighbourliness.
Every week, the Chronicle carries many stories that could all earn the people involved this particular Proud of Barnsley Award.
So if you know someone who is going out of their way to help you, a neighbour, a stranger or your community at large, nominate them for a Proud of Barnsley award and make sure they get the recognition they deserve.