Meet our neighbours

Paul - Kilburn

"I started coming to Men’s Cooking at Abbey Road about a year ago, quite by chance. I saw an advert in the Camden Journal and thought ‘Why not? I’ll give it a go.’ I’d just lost my wife and was going through a difficult time and I was hoping to bond with people and take my mind off things.

The cooking appealed to me ‘cause it was something my wife had always been good at. I thought by taking the classes I might feel closer to her – and maybe learn some new skills too.

I’ve enjoyed the sessions and kept coming each week. I don’t know how much my cooking’s improved, but we’re all learning at about the same rate! I have to admit, I hadn’t first realised North London Cares was a separate thing from Abbey Road, but now that I do, I think it’s very valuable. We live in a fractured society and people like me have almost no contact with young people.

There’s almost a sense of family, for want of a better word, between the men who do the classes. You belong."

Ethel - Kentish Town

"I grew up in Ireland; a world very different from 2014 London. I’ve lived in Kentish town for 40 years. I’ll not go into too much detail bout the past, because I don’t like to think about it too much. I parted with my husband some years ago and have lived by myself ever since.

Being on your own’s difficult. It’s always with you, the loneliness. I’ve never really got used to it.

I first saw North London Cares advertised at Busby Place Community Centre. Straight away it looked up my street. The films are great. The best thing about them is the young people. I’ll be feeling a bit low some days, but as soon as I get to them film club it passes.

I look forward to it all week, if I’m honest.

The best thing with the young people is the fact they’re giving up their time for you. It gives you that little bit more hope. I know a lot of people my age complain that things are getting worse, but I don’t buy it at all. The way I see it, there’s still a lot to be positive about."

Ruth - Highbury

“I started to get a bit unfulfilled. I’m someone who needs mental stimulation, but as I got older I couldn’t seem to find it. I found myself getting apathetic. I’m not great with crowds, so I was staying at home and becoming less engaged with life.

Then, one day in December, I got a knock on the door from a young man. He offered help with the cold weather, which I didn’t need, but we got to talking and I explained how I was feeling.

To cut a long story short, I ended up being put in touch with Helen – a lady in her 20s who lives close by. Now she comes round once a week for a cup of tea. Her visits give life that added bit of interest. Helen lives a very different life to me, working in a high-powered job in the City. Her coming round is a chance to learn about her life and for her to learn about mine. She brings in part of the outside world that I’ve lost touch with, and now I feel like I’m part of the world again.

View all of our supporters North London Cares is partnered with...

Living in Southwark or Lambeth? Check out our sister charity South London Cares