Mountbatten Neighbour Anita Ryder is helping to tackle loneliness in her local community.

Anita started visiting 94-year-old Pearl four years ago as part of the Mountbatten Neighbours scheme, which aims to support people at risk of being socially isolated due to age or life-limiting illness.

The pair have built a close friendship, and even when Anita couldn’t visit during the Covid pandemic, she regularly called Pearl to catch up.

“Anita is my outside link with the world,” said Pearl.

“We can chat for ages, I really look forward to seeing her, and we get along so well.”

After moving to the Island to get married in the mid-1990s, Pearl was actively involved in local WI groups, the Freshwater Residents’ Association and she supported the independent lifeboat.

Today, mobility issues make it difficult for Pearl to leave home, instead relying on occasional visits from family members.

However, prior to the pandemic, Anita took her to the shops or out for a drive, and the pair hope to start their outings again in the spring.

“I still enjoy going out and having a walk, I just need some help, and I feel very fortunate to have someone like Anita to help me,” said Pearl.

For Anita, a career working in care and a natural desire to want to help people means the Neighbours role is perfect.

“We always have a really good giggle,” said Anita, who also volunteers as a bereavement counsellor with Mountbatten.

“I am good at talking, but I am also a good listener, and I love hearing stories of people’s lives and their history.

“Visiting Pearl is really enjoyable for me, she is a really good friend.

“Caring for people is in my nature and I take a great deal of pleasure from it.”

Join our Mountbatten Neighbours and help beat loneliness in your local community. 

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Or, chat with our friendly team to see if this role is right for you. Call us on 01983 217304 or email us.