A grandmother from Southampton has been shortlisted for an Extraordinary Talent award and a Grandparent of the Year award.

Rita Bradbeer, who lives at Anchor’s Fernside Court in Winchester Road, was nominated by her neighbours for her talents as an entertainer and her devotion to her grandchildren.

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.

Rita Bradbeer, 71, is thrilled to be shortlisted for the awards. She said: “I am over the moon to be nominated. I love my family; they keep me young. It gives me great pleasure when I can help them out and see smiles on their faces. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.”

Richard Evans, who nominated Rita, said: “Rita deserves to win because she really brightens up Fernside Court with her magic tricks, puppets, balloon modelling and other entertainment.

“She helps out with charity events and parties, using her talents to support good causes. Rita is very humble and doesn’t think she does anything special, but it keeps us all cheerful and is much appreciated.”

Lysette Evans added: “Rita is besotted with her grandchildren. They keep her young and she loves taking them on trips– she will do anything for them. She always gets stuck in and helps out, showing huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm.”

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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