Special award for Old Colwyn couple with hearts of gold

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A kind-hearted couple from Old Colwyn have been honoured for the good deeds they do for their neighbours.

Stephen and Elaine Davies were presented with the Community Spirit Award at the Older Persons’ Day organised by housing association Cartrefi Conwy at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

CARTREFI CONWY OLDER PERSONS DAY … Pictured receiving the special recognition award from Janet Finch Saunders and Bill Hunt are Cartrefi residents Steve and Elaine Davies from The Fron.

The couple, who are tenants at the Fron estate, were left almost speechless after being called to the stage to receive their special award from the judges.

Former HGV driver Stephen, 51, uses a wheelchair after a muscle wasting disease he contracted left him unable to walk.

But that hasn’t stopped him and Elaine from helping out their neighbours whenever they can.

They regularly do the shopping for a number of the older tenants and take them for medical appointments.

Steve is also very good with his hands and can repair everything from watches to motorised wheelchairs.

He said: “We just didn’t expect this and it has left us absolutely made–up. It’s wonderful to be recognised. But what we do is just try to help people as best we can.”

An emotional Elaine added: “In the first place we are so thrilled to have been nominated. You don’t expect to receive awards.

“All we try to do is be good neighbours. We know everyone living at the Fron would help us if we needed it. It’s really just about looking after each other.”

The decision to present the special recognition award to Stephen and Elaine Davies was made by the two judges, Bill Hunt, a Cartrefi Conwy board member who is himself a tenant and Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders.

Bill Hunt said: “Steve and his wife Elaine just stood out and were nominated as a couple. Originally they were Cartrefi Conwy tenants at Rhos on Sea before moving to the Fron.

“Almost from day one they set about helping neighbours and members of the Fron community doing whatever they could to help people. And all this despite having their own issues with Steve been a permanent wheelchair user.

“Their award is a one off award to recognise their community spirit and their dedication to neighbours.”

Janet Finch Saunders AM said: “All the nominations deserve to be winners and while we selected a winner in each category we felt Steve and Elaine just went that extra mile to help their neighbours with all sorts of tasks whether it was providing transport to a medical appointment or doing shopping

“They are fully deserving of this one off award and I’m delighted for them. We need people like Steve and Elaine, they make communities stronger and build real community spirit. Well done to them both.”

The award for Neighbour of the Year was presented to Dianne Wright of Maes Cwstennin, Llandudno who said she was over the moon to have won.

She said: “It means so much and it really is so lovely to have been nominated. Winning is an added bonus. I like helping people especially my neighbours. I don’t always get it right but I do always try my best.”

The award for Older Persons’ Champion went to Ernie Seabright, a tenant of Cysgod y Gogarth, in Llandudno.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and bowled over. I give as much help as I can with things like cutting the grass, a bit of painting and decorating, whatever people ask me to do. It’s all about helping each other.”

The award for Volunteer of the Year went to Margaret Richardson, a tenant at Parkway, Rhos-on-Sea, who was unable to attend the event to collect the award as she was volunteering with the RSPCA.

Nerys Veldhuizen, Cartrefi Conwy’s Older Person Engagement Co-ordinator, said: “We are blessed with some amazing older tenants who really make our communities strong. Building communities to be proud of is part of our goal as North Wales’ largest social landlord.

“I’m so proud of the achievements of our older tenants who show time and time again they want to live as full and active life. They look out for each other and are always prepared to give something a try.”

She added: “I know the judges had a really tough task in choosing the winners of this year’s awards. In truth we could have had many more winners; in fact everyone nominated is a winner in my eyes.

“Well done to everyone and I’m already looking forward to hearing all about next year’s nominations and seeing next year’s awards.”