A pensioner from South Shields has been shortlisted for a gardening award. Alan Aspin, who lives at Anchor’s Saville Lodge in Saville Street, was nominated by 16 neighbours for his 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.

Mr Aspin is thrilled to be shortlisted for the Green Fingered Customer Award. He 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.”

Friend Dorothy Golightly, who has lived at Saville Lodge for five years, said: “Alan has transformed the garden into a haven for everyone living here. He deserves some recognition for all that hard work.

“After three weeks in hospital earlier this year, I arrived home and the garden was in full bloom – it was such a pleasure to sit at my window and look at it. We all enjoy sitting in the garden, relaxing and taking in the wonderful view Alan has created.”

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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