A pensioner from Horsham has been shortlisted for a gardening award. Barbara Smith, who lives at Anchor’s Chesterton Court in Manor Fields, was nominated by neighbours for her hard work in the communal gardens.

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.

Mrs Smith is thrilled to be shortlisted for the Green Fingered Customer Award. She said: “I am over the moon to be up for this award. I love gardening as it keeps me fit, and it’s great to see others getting enjoyment from our communal gardens.”

Ann Williamson, 94, who appreciates Barbara’s hard work, said: “Chesterton Court sits in a very large garden which was becoming a bit neglected. Barbara took over and has spent endless hours improving our surroundings.

“The front garden is full of colour to welcome visitors, and the back garden is neat and peaceful. Thanks to Barbara it is a pleasure for us oldies to sit out in the sunshine in pleasant surroundings.”

Another neighbour, Maureen Hayes, added: “I have lived at Chesterton Court for the past three years and seen Barbara start up coffee mornings, craft fairs, clothes sales etc. to raise money for garden equipment, plants, shrubs, furniture.

“Barbara has worked extremely hard planting, trimming and keeping the garden a pleasure for all the residents here. She deserves recognition for her hard work.”

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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