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BNOC March

When good neighbours become good friends

Published on: 12 March 2019

Household of six scoops the Best Neighbour On Campus Award for their exemplary behaviour.

Newcastle University students Frankie Eldred, Lucy Clarkson, Rebecca Trafford, Katie Lynn, Kelly MacDonald and Megan Forster have been named the March winners of the BNOC competition to find the household that has gone ‘above and beyond’ to be responsible and considerate neighbours.

Nominated by their neighbour Sarah Clarke, of Buston Terrace, in Jesmond, the mother-of-two praised the six second year students for their behaviour and said they had been “a joy to live next to.”

Considerate and accountable

“My husband and I moved here in September when the twins were just two-weeks-old,” said Sarah, mother to six-month-old Kipling and Scout.

“What these girls did really beautifully was they introduced themselves with a note when my husband and I moved in a few months ago.  They gave us all their names and numbers and said if they were being too noisy we could just text them and I felt like they were being really accountable.

“You expect students to make noise because obviously we want them to have a good time at University.  But by introducing themselves and being so considerate it meant that when they were noisy I didn’t mind.

“Since then they've been round for tea and baby cuddles a few times since, we take in each other’s missed parcels, they've brought us a bottle of wine and they are basically a joy to live next to. My only complaint is that they're moving next summer and we'll lose the best neighbours we've ever had.”

Halls to Homes

Giving advice for other students moving from ‘Halls to Homes’ and into the community, Megan Forster, 19, a second year Law student from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, said:

“It’s just about being nice, speaking with your neighbours and doing small things, like dropping a card and introducing yourself. Generally being friends with your neighbours will make it nice for them to move into a student area, but it’s also nice for us.

“I’d like to thank Sarah and Jonny who are great neighbours and getting the baby cuddles has been the best thing for us.”

Kelly MacDonald, 21, from Stratford-upon-Avon, who is a second year Economics and Finance student added:

“We have a really nice relationship with our neighbours. It’s lovely to have won and we weren’t expecting it at all. I’d like to say thank you very much to Sarah for nominating us.”

Positive contribution to the community

The Best Neighbour On Campus award was established last year by Newcastle University and its Students’ Union, to celebrate the great work students do within their communities, either through volunteering, supporting local residents or being considerate, responsible neighbours.

A successful first year saw 17 students recognised, receiving up to £1,000 to help towards their rent and living costs.

This year, Newcastle has joined forces with Northumbria University and its Students’ Union, extending the award city wide to celebrate the 50,000 students who live in Newcastle and the positive contribution they make to the city.

As well as £1,000 to share between the household, £250 is donated to charity on behalf of the winning resident, and Sarah has chosen to give this month’s money to Crisis.

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University, said:

“Improving student-resident relationships can only be a good thing for our students and the permanent residents they live alongside. The different lifestyles of students means that this will always be a challenge, but we are committed to doing as much as we can and working with residents in order to create harmonious relationships.

“We are delighted to be working with Northumbria University on the BNOC campaign. This shows our joint commitment to rewarding the hugely positive contribution students from both universities make to our city.”

Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University, added: “Students are a real asset to our local communities and help make Newcastle the diverse, culturally rich city that it is today.

“This joint campaign with Newcastle University will help to highlight the positive work done by students in our local communities.”

Open for next month’s nominations

Each month until the end of term the aim is to find Newcastle’s BNOC.

Leaflets are being distributed to residents living in student areas across the city giving information on how to nominate, and a panel of judges will decide which of the entries they feel has had the most positive impact on the community.

The judging panel includes local residents, local councillors and representatives from the Universities.

More information and details of how to nominate and the terms and conditions of the competition can be found on the awards website:

Best Neighbour On Campus 2019

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