Neighbourhood Champion awards

Our Neighbourhood Champion award winners this year are truly inspiring.
The two winners have instigated projects which have had a far-reaching impact on their neighbourhood and the people in it.

Trevor and Myffie James

Trevor James has driven a project to plant thousands of native trees in Bolwell Reserve in Stoke. Trevor and his wife Myffie, pictured above, live close to the reserve and had the vision of bringing nature to the city when they started planting more than 10 years ago. At that stage the reserve was infested with gorse, so the Nelson City Council was keen on the idea. Since then about 8000 trees have been planted and are now flourishing. Trevor and Myffie grew about half the trees from seed in their own backyard nursery and the rest were bought or donated. Trevor has spent countless hours planting, watering and weeding seedlings, and his enthusiasm has inspired neighbours, friends and community groups to get involved too. This has provided many people with a sense of community, and the satisfaction of giving back to their community.

Sue and Darcy Hogue 1

Darcy and Sue Hogue, pictured above,  took the initiative to install a defibrillator in their  neighbourhood and organised training sessions on how to use it. The couple, who are the co-ordinators of a Neighbourhood Support group, donated the defibrillator because they thought it would be useful to have if someone had a sudden cardiac arrest. They did a letterbox drop to 140 households to tell people how to access it, and organised two training sessions for the neighbourhood. They’re now planning a third session.  The Hogues were also chosen for the champion award because of their efforts in helping neighbours connect. They make newcomers feel welcome, and regularly organise neighbourhood get-togethers.

We’d also like to recognise these people who were highly commended:

Kelly Walker – for her dedication to keeping her neighbourhood clean and tidy. Every weekend Kelly picks up rubbish alongside Marsden Valley Road, and usually ends up with handfuls of bags of rubbish. She has done this for about 6 years.

Marcel Stutz – for generously giving his time and skills to help neighbours with practical jobs. Marcel has spent many Saturdays building fences and decks, and lending tools, expertise and muscle to neighbours in Marsden Park.

Merv Campbell – for his thoughtfulness in helping out his neighbours, particularly the elderly, with odd jobs, gardening and cleaning. Merv has also taken on the job of closing the local Monaco Reserve at nights.

Neighbourhood champions


Tricia and Ian Christison, pictured left, and Denis Wastney, pictured right, were presented with Neighbourhood Champion awards at our recent AGM.

Tricia and Ian’s award was for bringing neighbours together and ensuring their neighbourhood is prepared for emergencies. The couple have organised very successful street BBQs. Ian has also made an effort to learn how to prepare for emergencies and was able to out his know-how into practice during the Kaikoura earthquake last year.

Denis’s award was for welcoming new neighbours and caring for neighbours in practical ways. Denis is a legend in his neighbourhood; he does things like looking after neighbours’ pets and collecting their mail when they’re away, and his wife Jean welcomes new neighbours with baking.

The award recipients were presented with $50 gift vouchers and certificates of appreciation.

Connect with neighbours on Neighbours Day

High res logo no dateIf you’d like to get to know your neighbours better, you’ll have an ideal  opportunity on Neighbours Day Aotearoa on March 25 and 26. The national event encourages neighbours to say hello, share a cuppa or organise a neighbourhood get-together.

To celebrate the event, Neighbourhood Support Nelson is giving away food  and equipment hire vouchers for neighbourhood gatherings around that weekend.

Neighbourhood Support Nelson co-ordinator Karen Clark says last year 65 neighbourhood gatherings were held in Nelson, which was the highest number of any city in the country per capita.

“We’re hoping participation will be just as high this year, or even higher,’’ she says. “The people of Nelson have always embraced the Neighbours Day concept with enthusiasm and shown a willingness to connect with neighbours. ‘’

The vouchers are available to any neighbourhood gathering of 5 households or more in the Nelson city boundaries. They include meat pack, bakery and pizza vouchers for social gatherings and waterblaster, weedeater or trailer hire vouchers for neighbourhood clean-ups. People wanting to apply can do so via the form below. Applications close on February 24.
The vouchers have been funded through a grant from the Nelson City Council, and sponsorship from participating businesses such as Pestell’s Rai Bacon Company, Stoke Bakery, Pizza Hut and Hirepool.

voucher-application-form (word document)

voucher-application-form (PDF)

event-tips (Tips for organising events)

Neighbours Day Aotearoa website

Contribution to community earns awards

Two of our members, pictured below, have been honoured with national awards from Neighbourhood Support New Zealand for their contribution to Neighbourhood Support and the wider community. Peter Crins and Jane Bealing will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Nelson on November 15.

peter-2Peter has been awarded a gold police officer award for services above and beyond the call of duty. Peter was instrumental in setting up Neighbourhood Support Nelson 10 years ago and has been actively involved ever since. He has served on the committee for 10 years and was chairperson for 5 years. Peter has also provided practical advice and support to Neighbourhood Support groups and helped out at neighbourhood and community events.

picture2Jane has been awarded a gold innovation award for galvanising her neighbourhood to develop a plan for natural disasters. Jane is the contact person for a Neighbourhood Support group in The Wood. She and her husband John got neighbours together to discuss ways they could prepare for disasters. They created a map of the neighbourhood showing household amenities such as power mains, and drew up a list of useful resources in the neighbourhood.

The Neighbourhood Support New Zealand Awards have just been launched this year to acknowledge outstanding community service. Neighbourhood Support NZ chairperson Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay says the inaugural awards recognise “dedicated individuals, groups, police officers and partner organisations who shine a light on the communities they operate in.”