Tinkering away in his shed, one man never expected to be recognised for his efforts.
But Daryl Dean’s work for Palmerston North's faction of Neighbourhood Support has earned him partner of the year for Central District.
From the bottom of Horowhenua to the top of Taranaki, the 58-year-old retiree was chosen for his commitment to community.
Dean, a member of the Palmerston North MenzShed, has put in countless hours helping the city’s Neigbourhood Support update its signage on hundreds of streets over the past year.
Neighbourhood Support manager Alison Jarden put Dean's name forward after he went above and beyond helping her redo the city's signage. “The partnership has been brilliant with Daryl and MenzShed. I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own, they just took over.”
A labour of love for his community, Dean had constructed and placed more than 500 signs across the city, taking down the old ones as he goes.
"I wanted to be able to do something to give back to the community, that’s the whole idea of it.
“You can’t just say you’ll do an hour here or there. It's the nature of the job.”
In January, Jarden gave Dean a new set of signs to put up about the city that could be changed over 12 months.
Within one month he was already asking for more.
“He’s been incredible,’ Jarden said.
MenzShed helped many organisations with odd jobs, Dean said, but it wasn’t often recognised for its efforts.
“We get verbal thank yous (sic) every now and then, but to get something like this is amazing.”
John Benton, 80, works alongside Dean in the MenzShed's workshop in Awapuni's Rangitāne Park.
Watching him work on the project over the past year, Benton said he deserved the recognition.
Benton said Dean spent long hours in the shed putting the signs together, but a lot more time out on the streets removing the old boards and attaching new ones.
“What he's achieved is quite remarkable.
“His commitment to the project has been quite exemplary. He’s spent many, many hours on it and along with the help of Neighbourhood Support backing him up all the way.”
Dean has made it into the top three finalists of Neighbourhood Support partners across the country, which will be announced at an award ceremony in Wellington on June 28.
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To learn more about how we create safer, more caring and connected streets, visit the Neighbourhood Support website here: neighbourhoodsupport.co.nz