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My first 4 months as Outreach Coordinator

Please note: this post is 11 months old and The Cares Family is no longer operational. This post is shared for information only

What might be left out of the spotlight when we talk about our work, is the community and relationships that are built and maintained in the background. This is what I wanted to highlight today (and really shout out to all those who make it possible).

Sc Ioanna

My role

Being an Outreach and Engagement Coordinator is a curious and wonderful role; you are the first point of contact for pretty much everyone new to the North London Cares network, carrying the responsibility of introducing them to the programmes and encouraging them to join. Yet, often, that first phone call or induction is likely to be the last time you will speak to them in a while or at all, even if they are the most regular attendee of our Social Clubs or the most active match our Love Your Neighbour scheme has ever seen. That's where the the rest of the team comes in!

The team

Of course, everyone in the team has their role and areas or responsibility; however, none of our jobs would be possible (or at least enjoyable) without working together. I am often blown away by the level of support the team provides to each other, on a practical level (helping out with social clubs, attending home assessments, putting out flyers in our local venues, picking up messages and calls) but also, and perhaps more importantly, on an emotional level. As much as we love and care about our work, the nature of supporting vulnerable people can be emotional and hard to navigate without a supportive team on your side.

The neighbours

Nothing compares to the joy you get when at the end of an introductory call someone shares how glad they are to have spoken to you and how much they are looking forward to joining a club or meeting a new friend! But it also works the other way around – as someone that isn’t always at a social club, joining clubs is a real treat, particularly thanks to the warmth and enthusiasm with which neighbours welcome anyone new.

The partners

Last but not least, so much of our work in Outreach relies on and is strengthened by the fantastic community partners we work with. From referrers, who signpost people to our programmes, to community organisations who invite us along to their events and activities, or community centres and local venues that put up our posters and flyers, to local businesses that invite us into their spaces: everyone contributes to helping us create a world where people feel less alone and more connected to each other.