By George, you don’t get many better neighbours than this star

George MacDonald
George MacDonald
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Everybody needs good neighbours, and Craigmillar’s George MacDonald certainly fits that description.

The 59-year-old, who lives at Chapel Court in Craigmillar, was recently presented with a Good Neighbour Award in recognition of the hard work he does supporting people in the community.

The competition was run by Places for People, one of the UK’s largest housing management and development groups. George was one of 40 individuals, whittled down from 400, who received an award at a national awards ceremony in York on Friday.

Linda Verden, who nominated George, said: “When the form came through my door I thought of George immediately.

“I nominated him because he is very giving with his time and he does everything for everybody.

“He will go and do shopping for the older folks around here, he picks up the papers in the bad weather, he just makes sure that everybody is OK.

“He’s very well known in the community of Niddrie and Craigmillar, everybody is absolutely delighted for him.

“George doesn’t want any fuss about the award but really I think he is quite chuffed. After all he has done, he deserves a wee bit of help.”

George, 56, a customer of Castle Rock Edinvar who has lived in Chapel Court for 22 years, is a full-time carer for his wife, Sandra, who suffers from a muscle wasting disease and uses a wheelchair.

Explaining how he felt when he found out he had been nominated and won the award, George said: “At first I thought this was a bit of a wind-up. To be honest, thank you would have been enough for me.

“Most of my neighbours are disabled so they can’t do things for themselves. If they need me for anything I go round and help out.”

George, a staunch Hearts supporter, said modestly: “I think anybody else would do the same. I’m just lucky that I’m mobile and that I can get out and about.

“It was pretty heartwarming to find out they had put me forward. The community is very close knit.

“Anyone that phones and needs help I will give them a hand.

“We were brought up in Craigmillar and we were always told to help others out.”

Sandy Welsh, head of housing at Castle Rock Edinvar, said: “George has shown he has a huge heart and is a priceless pillar of support to his local community.

“Despite having a busy home life caring for his disabled wife, he always goes out of his way to help others by picking up their groceries, prescriptions or helping out with other day-to-day jobs.

“They may seem such simple acts, but they make a massive difference to people’s lives.

“It is part and parcel of why George has won this national award.”