A doctor who spends her spare time after her hospital shifts to befriend a socially-isolated elderly woman has won an award for her “faith in humanity”.

Dr Louisa Little, a 31-year-old oncology specialist from Tufnell Park, has been given a ‘Hidden Heroes’ award by the Re-Engage charity which tackles loneliness and isolation among the over-75s.

The charity, which is starting up a new volunteering group in Hampstead this month, nominated 100 volunteers — Louisa was just one of five chosen for her volunteering as a ‘call companion’.

The citation describes Dr Little as “one of the most selfless people ever who reinstalls faith in humanity”.

It adds: “You don’t meet people like her very often but when you do they leave a mark.”

Louisa, who works at the Cromwell Hospital in Kensington, was inspired by her late grandmother Poppy, who died in 2018 aged 89.

“I absolutely loved my grandmother,” Louisa recalled. “I spent as much time with her as possible, taking her shopping and eating out.

“I always revised my exams at her home. It was a really special relationship and I missed her so much when she died. She was like a second mum.”

Poppy’s influence was the reason Louisa volunteered for the charity that tackles isolation among the over-75s.

“People tend to dismiss older people but there is so much we can learn from them,” Louisa adds. “You have to make the time for these things.”

She also volunteers for a north London charity which helps children living in poverty.

The elderly woman she befriends, Margaret, can feel very lonely. Her chats on the phone help her feel connected to society.

The charity’s chief executive Jenny Willott said: “The phone-calls Louisa makes have improved Margaret’s quality of life immensely. Louisa is one of the very best.”

The Re-Engage charity, which has been run by volunteers since 1965, is starting a new group this month at the Hampstead Court care home in Boundary Road. It also holds ‘get together’ tea parties every three months for those in isolation, while volunteers like Dr Little phone people regularly to keep in touch.