In 2014, North London Cares released a series of 6 short "Hidden Heroes" films.
The films aimed to celebrate the spirit and optimism of some of our older neighbours in our network – their passions and hobbies, their mischief and humour, their reflections on the past and their hopes for the future.
Through these films we wanted to document the range of personalities and experiences right on our doorstep – and to encourage people to be part of their community, and to spend time with and learn from their older neighbours.
Through filming, we got to spend even more time with some amazing people, including:
These films were made by our friend and talented filmmaker Tim Marrinan. They were watched by 8,000 people in their first few weeks of release, and were featured in The Times, Evening Standard and a generous tweet from @StephenFry. Watch all of the 6 Hidden Heroes films below:
Dave Elvis is quite the character. If you meet him, you don't forget him in a hurry. In an age when “entertainment” is ubiquitous but most lacks value, Dave maintains an element of classic, Vegas-era showbiz: eccentric, sure, but also fearless, overstated, glam.
Johnny loves talking about his local area, and the people and the places that animate it. He knows not everything is perfect, but as he drives us around "my area" reminiscing about pie and mash, splashing in the canal, and the smell of bread in Camden Town, his affection for the place he calls home is unbound, undiminished, and infectious.
North London Cares volunteers have been hanging out with Peggy and Inez since 2012. The ladies have been attending our Social Clubs at the Peel Centre since we started working there that summer. They've become friends to many; and they're two of the warmest people you could hope to meet.
Over forty years, May swam at the ponds at Hampstead Health. The water helped her stay fit and active. In happy moments, it was a place to build friendships, celebrate birthdays and indulge warm summers. In other times, it was a place to reflect on days gone by, even loss. For May, it provided more than a little tranquility in an otherwise chaotic city.
Walter is another one of those priceless characters. An introspective man, his calm is infectious. Wrapped up in this thoughtful demeanour is warmth, gregariousness even silliness; Walter's humour is side-splittingly funny.
At 88 Albert retains some of childhood’s most endearing qualities. He's playful, adventurous, cheeky and fun. New experiences aren’t something to be afraid of; they’re to be embraced, as his Hidden Hero film shows.