The story so far



Our founder Alex met isolated older neighbour Fred in Islington and took him for his first haircut in 3 months, inspiring the idea for North London Cares. Watch the video >>



North London Cares opened spontaneously in August 2011 amid rioting by mobilising young people to assist with the cleanup. Within hours 5,000 people had visited our website and Mayor of London Boris Johnson had tweeted to thank us for our role in the post-riots narrative.



North London Cares began our first ever Winter Wellbeing project, mobilising volunteers to help older neighbours stay warm, active, healthy and connected. Winter is a tough time of year for older and younger people alike, but by connecting on doorsteps and later in warm community halls, the generations came together. That’s how this community – you – created the Winter Wellbeing project, which has been running every year since.



We started running regular social clubs twice weekly – providing a space for older and younger neighbours to laugh together, learn together and establish friendships with one another. Many of the regular clubs that began in 2013 are still going today!



Our sibling charity South London Cares opened in Southwark and Lambeth. South London Cares had the same model as us, mobilising younger volunteers to connect with their older neighbours below the river in Southwark and Lambeth, but a different community. Check out Sylvia telling us all about her local area of Brixton...



North London Cares featured in BBC1's Inside Out documentary, with our social clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes highlighted. Watch the documentary here >>



Combined with sibling charity South London Cares, our networks grew to 4,000 younger people and 4,000 older people hanging out and helping one another by the end of 2016.



In 2011, North London Cares was one charity working across two boroughs in north London. By 2017, we had grown to three charities. South London Cares had been operating for three years, and Manchester Cares had just thrown open its doors and invited older and younger Mancunians to spend time with one another. What started as a ripple was becoming a wave of connection gathering pace across the country. In 2018, we opened Liverpool Cares. And in 2019, East London Cares joined the family too.

That’s how The Cares Family is a family in more than a name – it’s a place for people to belong, and to feel ‘part of something bigger'.



By 2018, 2,900 younger and 2,500 older Londoners were sharing time, laughter and friendship with one another in Camden and Islington. Our family had grown to different cities in the UK, and the impact that our older and younger neighbours were making in each other's lives was being felt further afield too. This film was shared by The Obama Foundation in 2018 – telling some of the story of how The Cares Family was inspiring more and more people to come together to reduce loneliness and build connection and community.



Our Community Fundraising programme was created so that, as well as raising money, older and younger neighbours had the opportunity to lead North London Cares, to share time and friendship, and to show that when people work together, they can share power and a sense of belonging. In 2011 when we first started, we had no money to fund our mission at all. By 2019, 40% of North London Cares’ budget was funded by you, the community. Through sporting challenges, community events, individual donations, business partnerships and online campaigns, hundreds of north Londoners were helping to fund the community they love.



2020 changed how we interact with our communities more rapidly than ever before. The onset of the pandemic and ensuing social distancing and isolation brought new challenges to our model. But, just as our community stepped up to help one another out nearly a decade before in the wake of the riots, neighbours came to each other's aid again to help each other stay connected – online, on the phone and in the community, albeit not face-to-face.



North London Cares celebrates our 10th birthday this year! We may have been here for a decade, but we’re far from done. As we look forward to the next decade, we're proud to call this corner of London home. Thank you, north London, for showing there is power in community.