A HEALTHCARE organisation will be a major sponsor of the Good Neighbour Awards for the fifth year running.

The awards, run by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Telegraph, pay tribute to helpful neighbours and unsung heroes in the community.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group has now signed up to be a major partner again.

Sponsors in previous years have included Blackburn Rovers, Capita and Community Integrated Care.

Cllr Mohammed Khan, council leader, said: “I’m delighted to announce that we will be continuing NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG’s longstanding relationship with the Good Neighbours Awards for another year.

“It’s great to have them on board as a major sponsor so together we can highlight some of those helping to make their neighbourhoods better places.”

This year’s awards are due to be launched soon.

The CCG is responsible for commissioning or ‘buying’ healthcare and wellbeing services for the borough.

It aims to deliver high-quality integrated care in order to improve the health and wellbeing of people and enable them to live longer.

Graham Burgess, chairman of Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “We’re delighted to once again be backing the Good Neighbours Awards, which celebrate the wonderful sense of community spirit in Blackburn and Darwen.

“We look forward to meeting some heroes of the local community at the event.”

Last year’s nine winners included eight-year-old Nathan Pugh who had been litter picking in his spare time in areas such as Witton Park and around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The youngster from Blackburn suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and found the activity a positive way of challenging his energy.

War veteran Richard Westhead, 95, was also a winner at King George’s Hall last year after litter picking every day for 30 years in Darwen and looked after the war memorial in Bold Venture Park.

Other winners included Janet Pearce, Fatima Dhira, Dr Mohammed Naushad and Zara Hussain, Hannah Goldthorpe and the West End Girls’ Group.

Guests enjoyed entertainment and food at the awards.