Frequently asked questions
How do I sign up to volunteer?
Visit our activities page, decide which of our projects suits you best, and if the option is available click "Find out more and be part of it", then scroll down to "Sign up and be part of it". Once you've signed up a member of our team will get in touch to find out more about how you'd like to be involved. And we'll have you meeting up with Paul, Ethel and Ruth in no time!
What if I work long or unpredictable hours?
We hear you. This is part of why North London Cares exists – to make it easy for young professionals with busy lives to feel part of the community. If you can spare an hour or two every week, great – Love Your Neighbour might be for you. Otherwise, if things are a bit more unpredictable, jump in and out of our social clubs whenever you can spare a few hours during an evening or weekend soon.
What commitment do I need to make to volunteer?
North London Cares tries to make volunteering accessible, fun and flexible for young professionals. We know that people have busy work and social lives – but that shouldn't stop you from feeling part of the community too. That means we've tried to cut as much bureaucracy and time out of our processes as possible so that you can be part of it simply and quickly. So we don't ask that people turn up at the same place week after week. Rather, we've built a pool of volunteers who together can be part of the community in a way that suits them. If you sign up for our social clubs you can come as often or infrequently as you like. But we do ask that Love Your Neighbour volunteers visit their neighbours weekly (although still at a time that suits you both – we won't dictate that).
What's best for me – the social clubs or Love Your Neighbour?
That depends on you. If you have limited time our programme of regular social clubs that you can drop in and out of might be best. That way, you can be flexible with your volunteering. But if you'd like to build a close one-to-one relationship with a neighbour, Love Your Neighbour is probably for you.
Do I have to live in Camden or Islington?
Nope – you can live or work in our two boroughs, or you can travel in from where you are. All our work in Camden and Islington though, and 90% of our older neighbours are too.
Do I need to bring anything?
Not first time round – just bring yourself, an open mind, and a chatty demeanour! But if you're a photographer, gardener, historian, comedian, musician or have some other skills we'd love to talk to you about how we can use those to create content for our social clubs!
What if I know an older neighbour who'd benefit from North London Cares?
Back in the day, we all knew a neighbour who we looked out for. But in today's rapidly changing city, some of those community bonds appear to have disappeared. It's no one's fault – it's just the modern world. That's why we exist – to help connect older people who are often rooted in north London but may have few connections with those younger neighbours who have hundreds of connections but sometimes fewer roots. If you know someone who could benefit from that, please email the relevant member of our team.
I'm a health/social care professional – can I make a referral to North London Cares?
North London Cares has guidelines on who our volunteers can and can't support. Volunteers are not clinical staff – rather, they are north Londoners who'd like to help people feel more connected. We say that our model, and our amazing volunteers, do not make life liveable (feeding, clothing or washing people); rather they make life worth living with new opportunities, friendship and horizons. We do take referrals from statutory and healthcare services – such as housing departments, GP social prescriptions, and occasionally mental and social care providers – but please be aware that we may need to make our own assessments on whether neighbours can realistically benefit from our activities. To make a referral to our Love Your Neighbour project please email [email protected]. To make a referral to our Social Clubs programme please contact [email protected].
How do I give money to support North London Cares?
This network is part funded by you, our supporters, and we'd love you to make a donation to support our work, or to fundraise for us through a challenge or activity. There are loads of ways you can support North London Cares so please visit our fundraising page here.
But I live in south London – can I be part of it too?
Actually, yes! Our sister charity South London Cares opened in 2014. We work closely with the team there and they're all superstars. So if you're in Southwark or Lambeth, visit www.southlondoncares.org.uk. Sadly we haven't created Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham Cares yet. But let us know if you think that's a good idea – and who knows...