A KIND-HEARTED neighbour has kept dozens of pensioners from becoming prisoners in their homes, tirelessly clearing roads and drives of snow.

Andrew Purves has kept Swallow Close, in Esh Winning, near Durham, snow-free ever since the cold snap took hold, meaning his elderly neighbours can use their cars or reach the shops.

The estate has 30 houses – nearly all home to pensioners.

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The 47-year-old, who has lived on the estate for 15 years, has used the equipment from his business, AD Purves Landscaping, working around jobs for schools and doctors’ surgeries, sometimes until 11pm.

Neighbour Elizabeth Howdon, 67, who lives with husband, Donald, 73, said: “We’re all absolutely in awe of this guy and what he’s done. It’s a pity the world hasn’t got more people like Andy.

“He’s one of the best citizens and neighbours I’ve ever come across.

“He’s a caring person.

He knows the estate is occupied mainly by senior citizens and without him we couldn’t have moved.”

Mr Purves said: “We don’t live in each other’s pockets but when there’s a problem, we rally round.”