Good neighbours rewarded by council

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Six Aberdeenshire Council tenants were presented with certificates and £100 worth of shopping vouchers at an event recently in recognition of being good neighbours.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s social work and housing committee, Councillor Karen Clark, presented an engraved glass bowl to the overall winner Vilma Arillo-Laus, from Braemar.

Vilma (67), is a trained chef, originally from the Philippines and is an author of cookery books.

Her love of cooking has been to her neighbours benefit too and she won the overall award for helping a number of older people living nearby with housekeeping, cooking, dog walking and generally befriending them.

Those nominating Vilma said that she cares for people as she would her own family and Braemar would be very much the worse off without her kind efforts and caring for her neighbours.

Cllr Clark said: “It’s the little things people do that makes a difference and that is what these awards celebrate.

“Whether it is helping someone with gardening, or supporting an older person with shopping – all the winners are inspirational and have really helped create a sense of community within Aberdeenshire’s council housing areas.

“It is really important to recognise positive behaviour as it has a contagious effect and encourages others to do more of the same. This all helps to make sure our tenants live in an environment that is safe and supported.”

Vice-chair Councillor Alisan Norrie added: “People can be quick to complain when something goes wrong but less so to say thank you when a neighbour has done something special.

“I congratulate all of those who have received an award and I know they will continue to look out for those who live nearby and need a little support.

“This is yet another successful way to keep tenants involved and on that note I welcome the new participants elected to the tenant core group, the Tenant Participation Promotion Team, representing tenants across Aberdeenshire.”

The awards ceremony was part of an event designed exclusively for and by council tenants to celebrate achievements, discuss housing issues and elect new members of the tenant representative group.

The winners of the Good Neighbour Awards 2012 were nominated over the summer by other tenants and neighbours across Aberdeenshire’s six administrative areas.

Aberdeenshire Council’s support of tenants groups is a core part of the authority’s commitment to the development of safe, sustainable and inclusive communities.

The Buchan area winner was George Spence from Peterhead, while other winners were:

Phillipa Stokes (Sandhaven); Sandy Clark (Ellon); Norman Hodge (Stonehaven) and Grace Reid (Inverurie).