MANY would say the stresses of modern life mean they don’t have time to look in on an elderly neighbour.

But with the region in the grip of an Arctic blast, it has never been so important to keep an eye on our elderly neighbours.

Few can have as many calls on their time as horse-owning, school worker and mum-of-two, Pat Smith, who manages to juggle her demanding responsibilities and still check on vulnerable people in her community.

Busy life The 53-year-old, of Dibden, leaves her home at 5.45am to tend her horses before heading to Testwood School where she works full-time helping children improve their behaviour, then heads back to the stable on her way home, returning at about 6pm.

Despite Pat’s busy life, she still finds time to check on several elderly people in the area, picking up shopping, delivering their copy of the Daily Echo and taking them to medical appointments.

Her neighbour of 20 years, 83-year-old Doug Rickard, nominated her for the Daily Echo Good Neighbour Campaign after she spent more than three months walking his dog while he was in hospital.

Pat said: “The way I see it is Doug is my friend and I really enjoy coming round for a cup of tea and a chat – we’re mates.

“I think people who don’t get involved with their neighbours are really missing out.”

Doug said: “Pat is fantastic. She is up and out at the crack of dawn and has such a busy life but still finds time to come round every day. She’s just a lovely neighbour.”

Do you know someone like Pat?

If so we want to hear from you. The Daily Echo launched our campaign last month as Siberian winds and plummeting temperatures put the county’s most vulnerable at risk. If you know someone who goes the extra mile for their fellow man contact Simon Carr at or call 023 8042 4495.