Mountbatten Neighbour Hilary Piper is helping to tackle loneliness in her local community. 

She recently joined the Neighbours scheme, which aims to support people at risk of being socially isolated due to age or life-limiting illness.

Hilary visits 94-year-old Audrey once a week, who lives in a residential home in Romsey, and they’ve built a meaningful friendship between the two of them. 

“I’ve been coming to see Audrey for about six weeks now, and we get along really well. 

“On a Tuesday afternoon, we sit and have a chat for a couple of hours. If she has problems, I can try to help, or just be a listening ear.” 

The visits make Audrey feel better, physically and emotionally. 

Audrey said "It’s fantastic, having a friend like Hilary. I know I can tell her anything. 

“I’ve been quite poorly recently, and all I’ve done is move from the bed to my chair, then back again. And that’s not me. 

“Today Hilary came in for a cup of tea and a chat, and I feel better already. 

“Having somebody to talk to, and laugh with, it makes all the difference. It’s better than medicine.” 

Audrey is keen on physical and social activity and was once part of several walking groups in Southampton. Since her diagnosis, she has enjoyed visiting our day services and social timetable in West End, but her illness increasingly means she can’t get out of home.   

The loneliness caused by social isolation has a negative impact on our mental and physical health, contributing to stress and low mood, which makes it harder for people to live well until they die 

By reaching out to people close by, Mountbatten Neighbours help put a stop to loneliness and improve people’s daily lives.  

The scheme has also benefited Hilary, who lives alone herself.

Hilary has volunteered in and around Romsey for many years, and since last September, she has supported Mountbatten’s reception and rehabilitation teams at our site in West End. Now that she’s joined the Mountbatten Neighbours, she feels she has gained a genuine friend close by.  

“It feels great to give something back to your community, help others and meet new people. It’s good for your own mental health. 

“When you’re lucky enough to have this connection like Audrey and I have, you just become true friends. It’s really lovely, having this time with her. 

“There are lots of people like Audrey, living alone or in residential settings, who don’t have someone like this to talk to. 

“It’s a nice thing to do, to visit someone who wouldn’t otherwise see many people. I’m glad I can be a friend to her, too.” 

Our Mountbatten Neighbours are helping to beat loneliness by supporting people throughout our Southampton and Hampshire communities, including West End, Hedge End, Eastleigh, and Romsey.  

Join our Mountbatten Neighbours be part of a team that changes lives. 

Ready to apply? 

Apply online

Not sure yet?

Find out more about the role

Or, chat with our friendly team to see if this role is right for you. Call us on 02382 548852 or email us.