Fold chairman is everybody’s good neighbour

Hugh Maxwell pictured at Curran Fold with his Good Neighbour award. INLT 17-329-PR
Hugh Maxwell pictured at Curran Fold with his Good Neighbour award. INLT 17-329-PR

LARNE man Hugh Maxwell has won a Good Neighbour award in a Fold Housing Association competition.

Mr Maxwell is chairperson of the Curran Fold Tenants’ Association.

He has been a resident of the Fold for the past six years where he lives with his wife Pauline.

The nomination was made by fellow resident Catherine Murray on behalf of Curran Fold.

Mrs. Murray explained that despite severe back problems and being a carer for his wife, Hugh has “thrown himself into” every Fold activity.

She said: “He has an ever open door both day and night for anyone who needs help with replacing bulbs, making up ‘flat’ packs, turning heaters on/off, any DIY that he can do or just a chat if they are feeling lonely.

“He attended and passed a course to enable him to drive a hired bus with a tail lift. This means that no-one is excluded from the outings. He also took a kitchen hygiene course, again for the benefit of tenants for social events.

“Hugh always has a cheerful disposition but is the first to be there with sympathy and comfort when needed. If any tenant is in hospital, Hugh makes a point of visiting them. He also attends all the funerals of both tenants and their close relatives, whatever religion they may be.

“Hugh is an ardent church-goer and he certainly practises his Christian persuasion without trying to preach it to others. He also finds time to help with making and serving dinners in the church. He also takes tenants up the town and helps them get their shopping and also gets shopping for those who are not able to go themselves.

“One of the most important things about Hugh is if you tell him something in confidence or ask him to help you with something confidential, you can be absolutely sure that no-one else will ever hear it from him.

“At entertainment functions in the common room, Hugh ensures that everyone enjoys themselves and no-one feels isolated in the corner.

“To sum up Hugh, he is one of the best assets any Fold could ever have and we are lucky and so thankful we have him. Hugh treats everyone with respect, so no-one feels uncomfortable with him.”

Mrs. Murray went on to say that this is the first time which Curran Fold has won an award in the competition which has been running for the past few years.

She indicated that there were 12 nominations for the Good Neighbour Award which was presented at a ceremony in the Beechlawn House Hotel, in Belfast.

“It was one of the few times that I have ever seen Hugh speechless,” said Mrs. Murray.

A congratulatory party was held in his honour at Curran Fold last week.

Mr. Maxwell told the Times: “The award came as a complete surprise to me, I knew nothing about it. As chairperson, I was due to attend a seminar at the Beechlawn House Hotel anyway. I was very pleased.

“My door is always open. I am always here at any time of the day or night. It does not cost anything to help someone.”

He continued to paid tribute to his wife whom he described as “one in a million”.

“I couldn’t do it on my own,” he added.