Seven years ago, on August 8th 2011, North London Cares opened. We did so spontaneously, amid rioting in our communities – by encouraging people to get out onto the streets and show that London could be together.
And while our idea was based on a simple premise – that neighbours who live side-by-side could build community though sharing stories and looking out for one another – we never knew that so many people would adopt it as their own.
Today, we're so proud that, seven years on, some 2,500 older people and 3,000 young people are part of this network. Together, those Londoners have shared 156,000 interactions and over 25,000 hours. You've enjoyed 1,700 social clubs and 5,000 hours of one-to-one time.
You've frequently laughed together, sometimes cried together and often surprised one another. You've shared tales of love and loss, hope and heartbreak, mischief and misadventure.
And together you've shown that difference doesn't have to divide us; that the richness in difference – and the stories we have to share – can unite us, even as the world changes at breakneck speed all around.
Today, North London Cares is one of four sibling charities bringing older and younger people together in rapidly changing cities, not just here in the capital but around the UK. With South London Cares and Manchester Cares, The Cares Family as the group is collectively known have helped create 250,000 interactions, over 2,500 social clubs and over 50,000 hours between younger and older neighbours. This autumn, Liverpool Cares will join the family too, bringing people together in another city that means the world.
So we wanted to say a quick thank you – to the funders who have believed in the vision, to the local partners who have supported us throughout, and of course to the older and younger neighbours that bring their light and laughter to one another every day.
In the coming months we'll be developing new ways for you to get involved. In the meantime, here are Harry and Emma, Maria and Mary Ann and Chloe and Maisie talking about their experience as part of the community.
You can support North London Cares with a regular donation – just £20 a month could help us fund a fun activity at a Social Club, bringing older and younger Londoners together in our rapidly changing city.
Posted by Alex Smith on Monday 6th August 2018
Alex is NLC's founder and CEO.