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It might not sound like much to some, but a cup of tea and a chat mean the world to Eileen Wadham.

If it wasn’t for the kindness shown by volunteers from the Waterlooville Good Neighbours group, Mrs Wadham could go days without seeing anyone.

We all benefit from contact with others.

A kind word and a friendly smile can make the difference between feeling all alone in this world and knowing that you are loved and appreciated.

And for those who live on their own and are perhaps elderly, schemes like this are all the more important.

So we wholeheartedly congratulate the group’s members who have been honoured for their community work.

Let’s be the first to acknowledge that we need more people like them.

This caring network of volunteers are on hand to do everything from run people to hospital appointments and pick up shopping to more everyday household tasks.

We know that their willingness to stop and have a chat is making a real difference to other people’s lives.

Carers do an outstanding job, but they can’t always afford the time to just sit and have a natter.

Many families are scattered around the country and might not be able to visit as often as they would like.

And some people have simply lost touch with their friends and loved ones with the passing of the years.

For all these people, the Good Neighbours group will feel like a real lifeline.

And through their example, we can all learn a thing or two about the importance of being good neighbours.

Reaching out the hand of friendship doesn’t take much effort when you really think about it.

It costs nothing to be nice, yet the impact it might have can be priceless.

You don’t need to have hours to spare to show interest in those who live around you.

But a quick chat, a friendly wave or the occasional cup of tea really can make someone’s day.