Since we started North London Cares three years ago, over 700 young people have signed up to hang out with their older neighbours in Camden and Islington - giving a little extra time, practical support, social connection and human companionship, and receiving plenty back in return.
Through nearly 500 Social Clubs and 1,500 one-to-one hours, volunteers have created some 30,000 new interactions, added 8,000 hours to the community, and shared 4,500 meals with neigbours they otherwise might never have encountered.
It's been a whirlwind - and we're so grateful for everyone's wonderful contributions.
Now, for the first time, we are able to quantify not only the ways people are involved with NLC but also the difference you are all making.
Through the publication of our 130-page 3-year Impact Evaluation, based on several months of research funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, we have new evidence that shows that the time people offer to be part of this community network is helping us meet three key objectives: reducing loneliness and isolation amongst older people (and younger people alike); improving the wellbeing, confidence and resilience of all participants so that they can navigate the rapidly changing modern world; and bringing people together across social and generational divides.
The evidence is worth digging deep into, and the executive summary and full report are published below for people to download and explore. But some of the most important insights, and the ones we're proudest of, include those below.
Of the older neighbours NLC works with:
And as a result of NLC's work:
(All people joining more than 3 times).
And of the younger volunteers who participate with NLC regularly:
These statistics are just a snapshot of the report's data. The document also contains illustrative case studies, quotes from focus groups and a deep analysis of why we do what we do - and how we can improve our methods over the coming months and years. All of the research and write-up was conducted by Chris Clarke, a freelance social researcher. We're grateful for his hard work.
Please do read and download the executive summary and full report below. If you would like any information or clarification on their contents please email[email protected]. And if you're a supporter or volunteer, we'd love it if you could share some of the results over the coming days (we'll be following up with infographics soon!) - and ask your friends to sign up to be part of it.
Posted by Alex Smith on Saturday 18th October 2014
Alex is NLC's founder and CEO.