5 years ago I volunteered at The Abbey Centre in Kilburn. It was my first week helping out at a session called Men's Cooking with a group of lovely chaps from Camden. It was also my first time meeting Alex and learning about the wonder that is North London Cares! My fond memories of Men's cooking & the lively Saturday lunch clubs - where I more than often came away stuffed with inspiring stories (and new ways of cooking tats!) added to my passion for community work & seeing people thrive.
Fast forward to October 2018, and I have officially joined the team as the Outreach Officer on the Winter Wellbeing project. Working with Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Roxi, our aim is to keep older neighbours warm, well, active and connected during the coldest months.
To say I'm thrilled is an understatement and as first week's go, it's been pretty awesome. To kick the Winter Wellbeing project off, Roxi and I visited Ampthill clinic in Camden where we received a warm welcome from the team. Even with the mild weather, it's so heart-warming to hear positive responses from people who are either interested in getting word out or referring their loved ones.
The highlight of my week was attending a North London Cares social club - the Oktoberfest party at Kentish Town Community Centre! The Bavarian theme covered everything from traditional foods to beer tasting with something for everyone. I was welcomed to the club by lovely older neighbours, Laura & Sharma. I learnt about the history of Oktoberfest & tasted delicious IPA with Harvey, Shirley, Rosie & Kate, who taught me 'never mix hops & grapes"! Hassan shared his love of dancing - he's passionate about the Tango and we cheered on Shaku who achieved a strike on the beer can alley.
Seeing older & younger neighbours share laughter & joy in one afternoon just proves how valuable Winter Wellbeing outreach is. Over the coming months we're going to pound the streets to find more people like Harvey, Hassan, Shaku & Rosie so they can join the NLC activities too & enjoy the simple things in life.. friendship & pretzels!
I can’t wait to get stuck in & meet the rest of the Cares family.
Posted by Juliet McNelly on Thursday 4th October 2018
Juliet is an Outreach Officer at North London Cares