A Newcastle pensioner has been shortlisted for a Community Champion award and an Extraordinary Talent award.

Christine Burnham, who lives at Anchor’s Parkside Court in Wideopen, was nominated by Carole Lawson for going the extra mile helping her community and sharing her impressive artistic skills.

Almost 300 nominations were sent in for the Happy Living Awards run by Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit care and housing provider. The awards were launched in August with six categories: Green Fingered Customer, Best Neighbour, Extraordinary Talent, Grandparent of the Year, Community Champion and Best Pet.

Christine is thrilled to be shortlisted for the awards. She said: “I am over the moon to have been nominated. It is important to help others and have a good community spirit. I paint because I love it, not to receive praise, so this is a lovely surprise.”

Christine has worked as a nurse and is a trained counsellor. With this expertise, she set up a dementia café in Wideopen for people living with dementia and their carers. She is also a trustee of the Bradbury Centre, giving support and advice to people with dementia and other neurological disorders.

Nominator and friend Carole Lawson said: “Christine is the most wonderful and talented person I have ever met. She paints animals, landscapes and still life in watercolour, acrylics and oils.

“She has painted ever since her school days, and now she teaches me. This is her big talent – to get the best out of people, very gently, allowing them to discover their own talents. She is always full of fun and joy of life.”

A customer panel will be coming together later this month to judge those shortlisted, and winners of the six categories will be announced in December.

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