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.
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.
Colin Hunsley - Trustee
Colin moved to Basingstoke in 1979 to marry his wife Cathy and start work at Vickers Medical and is now a director of ClearViewIP, a company specialising in intellectual property.
Colin joined Basingstoke NeighbourCare in October 2010 and was appointed Chairman in June 2011. He had previously been a trustee of the national charity Action Medical Research.
“After more than ten years I decided it was time for something new and more local which Basingstoke NeighbourCare has provided perfectly.”
Geoff Belsham - Trustee
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.”
Cherry Clayton – Trustee
Cherry joined NeighbourCare as Treasurer in 2011. Cherry is a qualified accountant and has put her working experience to good use in keeping the Charity’s finances on track.
Cherry says that her role is challenging and is very worthwhile especially when you hear how much our organisation is appreciated by our clients.
Mick Ridge - Treasurer
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. He is taking on the role of Treasurer.
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 – Chair
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.
Steve Vaux - Trustee
Steve lives in Sherfield Park with his wife Jenny, a Borough Councillor representing Chineham. He trained in Agriculture at Reading University, and worked mainly overseas for over 40 years, concentrating in the management of tropical plantation crops.
Steve writes - “I joined Basingstoke NeighbourCare in 2019 as a volunteer driver, and particularly love chatting with clients as I drive them to and from their destination. Our clients so often have had fascinating lives. I have also volunteered for the Spotlight food bank, and help to run a tennis club near Reading”.”
From the office team 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."
“Helping to organise lifts for clients so that they can get to their appointments, be they medical or going out to do some shopping, is very rewarding and gives a great deal of job satisfaction. However, none of this would be possible without the excellent team of NeighbourCare volunteers.”
"My name is Kate and I am the Befriending Co-ordinator. I really enjoy meeting our clients, matching them up with a volunteer Befriender, and seeing how their friendship blossoms. It's great to be part of NeighbourCare, knowing that I am able to help elderly people in my local area feel less lonely and isolated. "
What people say about NeighbourCare Open or Close
“NeighbourCare provides the support when and where it is needed to allow people to access medical and other services. This simple charity, which puts those in need together with volunteers who can help them, is a great help to many.”
Former Mayor of Basingstoke & Deane and former Borough Councillor
NeighbourCare volunteer for 13 years
“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
“‘NeighbourCare is a vital service to the residents of Basingstoke Deane, especially those who are vulnerable by virtue of age, infirmity or are challenged by their personal financial circumstances. NeighbourCare continues to make a hugely positive contribution to the quality of life & the wellbeing of all those who they support. We should be proud to have this service as part of our local community.’”
Cllr Robert Taylor JP
Former Basingstoke North West Division County Council