It’s that time of year again – your favourite tipple will be mulled, your diaries will be filled with Christmas get-togethers and your radio will be playing those old familiar classics; Andy Williams will be claiming ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year….’, while Bing Crosby pleads ‘let it snow’.
However for many of our older neighbours it’s not the most wonderful time and the thought of snow is far from exciting. Cold weather leads to crippling bills and a choice between food and heat; the slippery ground destroys confidence and people's ability to stay active and engaged in their usual activities; and, as anyone on social media can testify, watching everyone else celebrating in style only leads to a deeper feeling of isolation and loneliness.
These are just some of the reasons our Winter Wellbeing project is one we’re particularly passionate about. Last year we spoke to 731 older neighbours, supporting them with 368 interventions. 29 people, in urgent need, received a small grant to alleviate anxieties over fuel costs and 94 items of warm clothing were delivered to neighbours struggling to keep warm.
For Winter Wellbeing 2018/19, we will:
Knock on the doors of over 600 older neighbours to check they are keeping warm, active, healthy and connected - and to let them know we’re thinking of them and here should they need support.
Deliver hot water bottles, blankets or thermal items to older neighbours homes.
Signpost older neighbours to organisations who can help with keeping their homes warm and safe, give benefits advice and help reduce bills.
Help older neighbours to access health and wellbeing services.
Arrange small grants for people in difficult circumstances who are struggling to keep their home warm.
Connect older neighbours to social activities in their area.
Now in its 8th year, we want to make this our most collaborative effort yet and work even closer with the local community hubs and year-round lifelines for the older neighbours of Camden and Islington.
How your organisation can get involved:
Have a Winter Wellbeing pop-up at your location – we’re happy to come and speak to your staff teams or older neighbours in your network;
Refer older neighbours who you think may need extra support – or those who are no longer able to attend your activities;
Send us details of your services and programmes which might also appeal to the older neighbours we meet;
Help us spread the word about Winter Wellbeing by displaying posters and flyers or including information in your mailouts.
Contact us to be added to our community partner update group.
We would love to hear from you if you:
Know someone who is over 65, and living in Camden or Islington, who could benefit from a visit or call;
Would like to offer your support to the project by volunteering, fundraising or helping to spread the word;
Are an organisation in Camden or Islington, who wants to get involved with Winter Wellbeing.
Working closely with the community is important to all the team at North London Cares. Only together can we ensure older neighbours have access to life-enhancing activities, information & support. Let’s make this winter wonderful!
Posted by Juliet McNelly on Tuesday 9th October 2018
Juliet is an Outreach Officer at North London Cares