Winter can be a wonderful time of year filled with Christmas treats, time with family, and cosying up with friends on the coldest days. But of course not everyone looks forward to winter. For many of our older neighbours across north London, the dark days and freezing temperatures can be isolating – and can put neighbours' health, wellbeing, financial stability and social connection at risk.
That's why for the past eight years North London Cares has delivered our ambitious Winter Wellbeing project – a pro-active campaign to make sure older neighbours can stay warm, active, healthy and connected, and to help neighbours know that they can reach out in the most challenging times.
Through deeper relationships with community partners, door-knocking and conversations in sheltered housing units, GP surgeries, libraries and community centres and over the phone, we've found older neighbours in need of support and put them back in touch with the community.
In partnership with Camden and Islington Councils' joint Public Health department and with support from Camden Giving and individual supporters who donated through The Big Give we spoke to over 1,000 older neighbours this winter, and provided direct support for over 600.
With winter now passed and warm weather brightening the weeks ahead, we're already thinking about what Winter Wellbeing 2019/20 could bring to our neighbours in north London. Some of the details are in our new Winter Wellbeing report, below, which explores the project’s structure, approach, strengths and challenges, as well as making recommendations for next year.
We hope it will move you to consider the many ways you can get involved in North London Cares and make a difference not just in winter but year round. Whether through joining an older neighbour for a brew in your local cafe, or checking in on them next door there's so much time to be spent, memories to be made, and fun to be had together – it starts with you.
Posted by Juliet McNelly on Wednesday 17th April 2019
Juliet is an Outreach Officer at North London Cares