KINDNESS: Winners of the Kind Neighbour Award are Ken and Jen Windebank with (L) Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson and (R) Dot Douglas.
KINDNESS: Winners of the Kind Neighbour Award are Ken and Jen Windebank with (L) Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson and (R) Dot Douglas. Alistair Brightman

The neighbours from heaven

AFTER Dot Douglas noticed a worrying trend in the community, she partnered with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre to bring the Kind Neighbour Awards to life.

Ms Douglas was inspired to start the awards in response to the reality elderly people were dying and not being found for days or weeks at a time.

"I wanted to do something to change that, bring back some old traditional values,” she said.

"Get some community spirit going to encourage people to check on each other.”

Jen and Ken Windebank moved to Hervey Bay three years ago from Naracoorte in South Australia.

"The Windebank's already have the country spirit and since arriving in Scarness, they have not stopped looking out for their neighbours,” Ms Douglas said.

"They know their entire street and have set up a vegetable garden where their neighbours can come and help themselves to the extra veggies.

"They have even helped a neighbour with their son who has health issues.”

The pair both work with local community groups and from this Jen has become a welfare officer.

Part of her role is to visit the elderly and check in on them.

"Jen is the only face some of these people see all week,” Ms Douglas explained.

And according to Jen, "it's just what you do”.

A simple mentality Ken also mirrored, "well you don't just let your extra veggies go to waste.”

The couple were presented with plagues from at the annual Tour de Bay fundraiser for the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood House on Sunday morning.