A grandfather from Essex has been highly commended for a gardening award. Alan Downer, 84, who lives at Anchor’s Spinnaker Close in Clacton-On-Sea, was nominated by several neighbours for his hard work in the communal gardens.

Over 600 nominations were sent in for Anchor’s Happy Living Awards for those who live with Anchor, who is England’s largest not-for-profit care and housing provider. The awards were launched in May 2014 with six categories: Green Fingered Customer, Best Neighbour, Silver Surfer, Best Grandparent, Community Champion and Carer of the Year.

Alan Downer, who has lived at Spinnaker Close for four years, is thrilled to be highly commended in the Green Fingered Customer category. He said: “I’m over the moon to have been nominated by Ann. I love gardening as it keeps me fit. It brings me great pleasure when others get enjoyment from the communal gardens.”

Friend and neighbour Ann Pratt, 73, who appreciates the work Alan carries out in the gardens, said: “Alan singlehandedly maintains our lovely gardens in Spinnaker Close, working really hard to keep them neat and tidy.

“Alan has transformed the garden for everyone here and deserves the recognition for his efforts. We enjoy the gardens all year around because of Alan.”

A customer panel came together this month to judge those shortlisted, and winners of the six categories were announced at the end of January.

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