THEY are the men and women who are the heart and soul of their communities.

From running coffee mornings to acting as carers, or even helping with weekly shopping, these are the people who help their neighbours through tough times and put others before themselves.

Now some of Southampton’s finest residents have been rewarded for their selflessness during a special ceremony at the mayor’s parlour in Southampton.

A total of 18 people received certificates and among them was the overall Good Neighbour winner Linda Bushnell.

She was nominated by David Frampton because she constantly finds time to help others with shopping, lends a friendly ear for advice and even lets people use her phone when they run out of credit.

June Evans from St Mary’s was nominated by her neighbour Valerie Burnett for going to the shops for residents, while Carole Gunn from Millbrook was nominated by neighbour Doreen Scorey for helping to look after her and making sure she has a meal every day.

Helping others move in and being “a tower of strength” was what earned Valerie Parker from Thornhill an award.

Community-minded Mo Simmons, from Millbrook, was nominated for her work in promoting Mansel Park and chairing the community association while Jill Jarvis from Regents Park was put forward by her neighbours Myra Hoijord and Doreen Hookey for helping with shopping and also acting as a carer when they fall ill.

Helping with hospital appointments was why June Evans put forward Edna Cooper from St Mary’s while fellow community resident Christine Deighton was praised for her care of friend Julie Pratt when she was ill.

Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet member for housing and leisure, said: “They are a great example to us all and encourage us to think about what we can do to improve the lives of our neighbours through a few kind gestures and thoughts.”