Basingstoke NeighbourCare was formed as a registered charity in 1997 to provide an accompanied transport service to those in genuine need in our community and, in 2010, a befriending facility was formally established. We are a key resource which enables people to stay independent and remain in their own homes for longer.
In 2013 Basingstoke NeighbourCare further enhanced its legal status by registering as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation under the governance of the Charity Commission.
We currently help over 500 people in the local community and are supported by a hard-working, friendly, well organised and dedicated team of trustees, office staff, fund raisers and volunteers.
We continue to seek new people who need our help; new volunteers to join us as drivers or befrienders; new sponsors who can offer either donations or help by providing services for the charity; and people interested in becoming trustees, to take an active role in taking the charity forward.
At Basingstoke NeighbourCare we are focused on doing our very best to support those in genuine need in the community we serve.
Our role in the community Open or Close
We support clients by providing a transport service to those who are unable to use other forms of public transport, e.g. for the elderly, infirm or those who need a little help with mobility. This includes transporting people to medical appointments and therapy sessions, providing trips to visit a loved one, helping them to the library, taking them to older persons’ clubs, or simply taking them shopping. Some of our volunteers are able to assist with clients’ wheelchairs.
We also offer a befriending service for lonely and isolated members of the community. Befrienders are volunteers who are matched carefully with clients who are in need of company or help with reading or form filling.
We run weekly Community Cafes in Basingstoke and Tadley, providing a friendly and relaxed place for older people to get together over a cuppa and a slice of cake. We also have handyman and gardening services for those who need some help around the home or garden.
Our volunteers devote anything from an hour a week to a couple of hours a day to assist our clients and we know from the feedback and comments we receive from clients and their families that our service really makes a difference to the lives of the people they help.
We rely on our team of dedicated volunteers to provide our services and it is the community spirit that they possess which enables us to deliver a high quality service in a low key way.
Some of our Basingstoke NeighbourCare team Open or Close
We are a strong team of volunteers and staff and each have our roles:
The Countess of Portsmouth
“I was invited to become Patron of Basingstoke NeighbourCare in 1997 when it first began, and I realised immediately what a wonderful charity it is because its work is true charity – volunteers putting ‘Love thy Neighbour’ into action.
I’ve seen NeighbourCare grow and grow, from a tiny operation in the beginning, with just a few volunteers and clients, to the organisation that helps many hundreds of people a year today.
There have been highs and lows – worrying times when we thought we might go under; money is always the problem. But the need for NeighbourCare’s services is always there and somehow, with determination and sometimes sheer stubbornness, we have survived.
Geoff Belsham - Chair
Geoffrey joined the charity as a volunteer driver in 2006 and was appointed Secretary in 2021. Having worked in IT within the insurance industry for most of his working life, he has now retired and lives with his family in a village near Basingstoke.
Geoff writes “Since 1969, In addition to helping at Neighbourcare, I have volunteered for the local Mencap charity performing various trustee roles. In addition, I am the church secretary and a lay preacher at a local Baptist chapel.”
Mick Ridge - Trustee
Mick has lived in Basingstoke with his wife Jackie since 2001. He worked for 42 years in Retail Banking covering various roles including Branch Management, Audit, Fraud and Operational Risk, finally retiring in 2020.
Mick writes - “I approached Basingstoke NeighbourCare at the beginning of 2021 to volunteer as a driver, as I really wanted to help out those in need, in the local community.”
Peter Robson – Secretary
Peter has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Leeds University and worked for a multinational company for 25 years before joining the charity sector as a fundraiser for Action for Blind People, the Firefighters Charity and Pelican Cancer Foundation. Peter looks for opportunities that provide extra income for NeighbourCare.
Clive - Trustee
Clive moved to Basingstoke in 1980 and for many years worked in the tax department of a local paper manufacturing company, before retiring in July 2020.
Clive writes – “Upon retirement as well as pursuing my interests in golf, tennis and walking, I wanted to devote some time to local voluntary organisations. In addition to being a driver for NeighbourCare, I collect food for Community Food Link and I am a path warden for Hampshire Countryside Service.”
Carol - Treasurer
Carol is a qualified accountant who has worked in finance-related roles for various companies, Carol moved to Basingstoke in 1990. On retiring from work she wanted to do something that would help the community, and became a volunteer driver with NeighbourCare in 2021, and Treasurer in 2023. Carol also sings with, and is treasurer of, a local amateur choir, enjoys gardening and visiting heritage locations.
Chris - Trustee
I have been volunteering for NeighbourCare both as a driver and befriender since 2019. My career was in Sales and Marketing working for large companies before starting my own business in 2008 and retired in 2019. I have lived in Basingstoke since 1976 and wanted to do something rewarding and at the same time helping others in the local community. I find NeighbourCare achieves both of these and as a trustee I hope I can contribute to the services that it provides.
Kirsty - Community Project Leader
Enthusiastically organises our cafés and handyperson and gardening service.
From our Coordinators Open or Close
“I am very fortunate to work for NeighbourCare. We have such lovely clients who are helped by our team of dedicated Volunteers. A trip out to a medical appointment can be the highlight of a client's day. A time to chat and put the world to rights. It is an honour to make these arrangements for our clients."
"I have the great pleasure of being the Befriending Coordinator for NeighborCare. It is a joy to be working with such a great team of volunteers, who provide such friendship and companionship to many older, isolated people in Basingstoke. I feel very honoured to this role, knowing that we are making such a difference to so many older people."
What people say about NeighbourCare Open or Close
“I would like to endorse NeighbourCare as a very worthwhile service which fulfils a demand.
The work which is undertaken by the charity to help those in need in the community is so important for wellbeing and quality of life for so many people.”
Hampshire County Councillor
"We have been helping him since July 2022 taking him to the Memory Club. His daughter-in-law says it is the highlight of his week. His family do not live locally so without us he would not be able to attend and are very grateful for our help." - Mr R.
"After taking her to two appointments in Southampton, she especially phoned our coordinators to pass on her thanks to our volunteer driver, for being an excellent driver and his lovely company. She felt very reassured in his company." - Mrs H.
"Mrs. B was referred by a social prescriber and is 88, housebound due to mobility problems, macular degeneration, a diabetic and struggles with depression. Though she was feeling low when our coordinator made the first home visit, the coordinator got her to talk about her amazing family and children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as her adventures visiting her twin who emigrated to Canada some 50 years ago. Mrs. B has been matched up with a female Befriender, who visits her in her lunch break. They have a great hour or so each Wednesday and often enjoy a game of cards, teaching each other new games. These weekly visits are very much helping to overcome her social isolation, as well as helping to stabilise her depression." - Mrs B.
"Mr. D 89 this year. He attends our Café most weeks when health permits. He has been struggling a bit with his health this year; we know how much this group means to him from the moment he walked in the first week. He has made some good friends and really enjoys sitting on the Chat About Table. Encouraged his twin brother to come along each week." - Mr D.
"Mr. F is a gentleman in his early 60’s who struggles with day-to-day life and we have seen a real transformation in him, particularly in the last 8 weeks he has been along every week. We have really seen him become part of the café group, integrating with people much more and he now even participates in the group activities each week." - Mr F.
"Mrs. T - is a lady in her late 60’s. She is the full-time carer for her husband, who has dementia. She has used the Handyperson Service a number of times to get DIY jobs done around the house, which she isn’t able to now do, as she is looking after her husband. Having this service, has been invaluable and giving her a sense of achievement and pride again in keeping the house running. This has in turn really helped with her mental health." - Mrs T.
"Mrs. B in her early 80’s, using our gardening service every week. She moved into her bungalow two years ago and has gradually tamed the jungle but was needing some help. Our gardener works alongside the client, helping her to achieve her vision for the garden. This is really helping the mental health of the client. She also comes along to one of the Community Cafes, and we visibly see how happy and glowing she is. It is lovely to see, that something as simple as having help in the garden each week, is making such a difference to her." - Mrs B.