The fun we had in 2021!

Halloween 9

2021 has been a very interesting and challenging time for North London Cares and all of our cousins across the Cares Family. We made the transition from being online for all of our activities back to in-person social clubs, restarted our home visits for our Love your Neighbour and Outreach programmes and saw the return of fundraising challenges that weren't completed virtually. All the while we've been keeping an eye on Covid numbers and responding to government guidance so that we can keep everyone safe.

Throughout all this, we've kept smiling and enjoyed introducing our amazing older and younger neighbours to each other. Read on for a whistle-stop tour of our 2021 social clubs!

Zoompic Lunarnewyear

We kicked the year off with a bang as at the beginning of February younger neighbour Mengran told us all about the celebration of Lunar New Year. The club was attended by an incredible 29 neighbours, all keen to find out more about how Mengran would normally be celebrating with friends and family in China.

Mengran said "At the end of the club I felt like all the preparations had been worthwhile. I also felt really moved when the neighbours said "Happy New Year" or "Thank you" in Chinese to me. It made the end of the year really warm and happy for me.

Safia Club

At the beginning of April, Safia became our 20th neighbour to lead a club, teaching us all about the Arabic alphabet and sharing stories about her Egyptian and Sudanese heritage and culture.

We also hosted our first face to face social club since October 2020 with a small outdoor gathering at The Hilldrop Community Centre. Over the space of three hours, fifteen neighbours met up in groups of four for a cuppa, a chat and a quick game of hoopla!

Hula Hopping

In May we enjoyed an outdoor hula hoop together with the fantastic Carla, neighbours including Jenny, Sarath and Yusef showed off some incredible skills in the spring sunshine.

We also met up online with our pals from East and South London Cares to discuss Michelle Obama's book "Becoming". The discussion was led by Amelia from Penguin and was a really fascinating chat about the many important issues that were raised in the book.

Singalong

In July we welcomed in the summer with our biggest attendance at a social club since March 2020! Older and younger neighbours enjoyed a cockney singalong in the back garden of the Hilldrop Community Cantre. For neighbours like John, June, Marion and Virdon it had been the first time they'd seen each other for almost eighteen months!

John said "It's so lovely to see each other in person again, the months melted away!

10Th Birthday

August was our tenth birthday month and saw us put on TEN different face-to-face clubs, the most we'd celebrated together in person since the start of the pandemic. We had an art attack, did some boxing with the wonderful Action Youth Boxing Initiative and enjoyed a limbo together at our birthday party.

Boxing Photo

In September we enjoyed a fascinating walk around Camden with our guide Richard, learning all about the historical comings and goings of Hatton Garden. Over the last six months, we have enjoyed several guided walks that all our neighbours have really enjoyed. The feedback we've received has been that the walks should continue so that's what we are going to do!

Walk
Induction

In October we were able to do our first in person induction for nearly two years! We welcomed nearly twenty new younger neighbours to our family and were delighted to see so many of them at our SPOOKtakular Halloween party at the end of the month. We'd really missed being able to connect in person with our new younger neighbours and it was fantastic to be able to explain what we do and then chat about all the incredible clubs we have planned for the future.

Clare Mcdonald

Which amazingly pretty much brings us up to speed! We've had a fantastic December and even though we've had to tighten up restrictions again and put a temporary halt to our indoor social clubs, we know that we will all soon be together again. With plenty of digital and phone clubs planned for the new year as well as lots of exciting face to face clubs, it's shaping up to be a wonderful 2022. Thanks as always to our incredible neighbours, we really couldn't do it without you and we hope you have a restful time over the next few weeks. Looking forward to what the next year brings for North London Cares!

Hampstead Heath Walk
Andy Naylor

Posted by Andy Naylor on Monday 28th February 2022

Andy is a Programme Coordinator (Social Clubs) at North London Cares