THE first nominations for this years ‘Good Neighbours’ awards in Blackburn with Darwen have come in, giving the 2014 scheme a flying start.

Hopes are high that with three applications received within days, ranging from helpful teenagers to community-minded pensioners, this year’s total will exceed last year’s inaugural 70.

The Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson and Blackburn Rovers MD Derek Shaw have join political leaders of all parties in backing the awards run by the borough and Lancashire Telegraph.

Council leader Kate Hollern said: “I am pleased to see we are getting nominations in already. I think we will get more applications than last year.

“Some of their stories are truly heart-warming and make me proud to belong to such a place as Blackburn with Darwen.

“The important thing about these awards is that they recognise people who give their time to the community and expect nothing in return. They are the people who keep the community together and make the place a better place to live.”

The Bishop said: “From the very young to the very old, everyone should be caring for their neighbour and looking out for them — especially if they are vulnerable.

“I am delighted to support the latest ‘Good Neighbours’ campaign by the Council and the Lancashire Telegraph.”

Mr Shaw said: “Blackburn Rovers are very happy to support the Good awards.

“Any award which rewards and brings focus on members of the community helping others is something the Club is proud to be associated with.”

Borough Tory leader Mike Lee said: “We support the awards as it backs up the big society ideal of people and communities taking care of their own.”

To enter the Good Neighbours Awards, click here.