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I'm thinking of using the phrase 'help your next one' instead of 'help your neighbour'. On Google.com there are only 8 hits - but all of them on 'native English' websites.

Is the proposed phrase acceptable and, more importantly, intrinsically intelligible - yes or no?

Alternatively, should I better use 'help those next to you' or 'help those who are next to you'...but to me the connotational idea of nepotism etc.

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"Help your next one" (or ones) is grammatical but doesn't really make sense to this US English speaker. "Next one" doesn't really mean "neighbor", and if I read the sentence somewhere, I would say, "Help my next what?" because one has to refer to something.

The examples you've found that use the phrase almost all use it in a context where another phrase gives it meaning, like

You couldn't help your last client, but maybe you can help your next one.

In this example, one is clearly referring to "client".

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