We’re helping our older neighbours to stay warm, healthy and connected during what can be a very isolating time. Throughout winter, we’ll be knocking on doors all over Southwark and Lambeth to deliver blankets, offer financial support and connect the elderly in our community to services they need.
January 2017 - March 2017
South London Cares
The U.K population is ageing dramatically. In Southwark and Lambeth, there are 50,000 older neighbours, and 90% of these say they feel isolated. Associated feelings of anxiety and loneliness are heightened during winter. The cold, dark days can be tough for anyone, but they’re particularly hard for older neighbours who struggle to get out and about, pay their heating bills or keep active. Indeed, last winter, there were 43,900 excess – and preventable – deaths in England and Wales.
South London Cares aims to minimise these struggles by proactively providing support for isolated and lonely older neighbours. Through Winter Wellbeing, we’ll be striking up conversations with our older neighbours to see if we can make winter easier by delivering scarves, gloves and blankets and/or supporting older neighbours with a fuel grant. At the same time, we’ll also help people to access healthcare services and invite them along to join our monthly activities to reduce loneliness.
Help otherwise isolated older neighbours to stay connected in winter
Activities» Go door knocking across our two boroughs to meet the most isolated in our community.
» Do outreach at local businesses; e.g. bookies, GP surgeries, pubs, libraries.
» Invite older people to hang out with their younger neighbours at our weekly social clubs e.g. film nights, dance classes, pub clubs.
» Invite • older neighbours to our Love Your Neighbour programme, to connect them to a younger neighbour and bring the outside world in.
Success will be having over 1,000 conversations with older neighbours in our boroughs by visiting a diverse range of local business and homes.
Help older neighbours to stay warm during winter
Activities» Deliver blankets, gloves and hats to those who’re really feeling the cold.
» Support neighbours whose circumstances are particularly difficult with small grants.
» Contacting the local council on behalf of older neighbours to discuss any home repairs or maintenance issues.
Success will be delivering over 100 blankets, gloves and scarves; supporting over 30 neighbours with fuel grants; and providing connection to vital local services.
Help older neighbours to stay healthy
Activities» Help people to access healthcare and local authority services (e.g. handymen, benefits advice) they need.
» Connect neighbours to health services, including mental health teams and flu jabs.
» Encourage older neighbours to be a part of their community by joining in with South London Cares’ year round activities.
Success will be following up with over 350 neighbours for ‘deeper interventions’, connecting them to local services who can provide further support.
To bridge social and intergenerational divides
Activities» Mobilise young professionals to knock on doors and look out for their older neighbours.
» Match older neighbours we meet with a younger person who can visit once a week via our Love Your Neighbour programme.
» Invite older neighbours to our social clubs so they can hang out with neighbours in their 20s and 30s to share laughter, time and companionship.
Success will be in seeing an increase in social club and Love Your Neighbour attendance following the Winter Wellbeing project.
Winter Wellbeing will help increase acts of neighbourliness; help tackle isolation across Southwark and Lambeth and build vital social bonds that last beyond the winter.
We will demonstrate this success by documenting the number of connections, interactions and services provided throughout the project. Success will also be friendships formed as a result of this outreach, as well as gathering feedback from neighbours about the difference this outreach has had on their lives.
Aside from safeguarding – for which we have a clear plan - there is a risk that we do not reach the most isolated in our communities. We have dealt with this risk by working closely with the council, local businesses and services to identify areas of Southwark and Lambeth where there’s a high density of isolated, older neighbours. Indeed, during November and December, we will be doing preparatory research to help identify the pockets of our boroughs that most need support.
Donors will receive regular case study updates, information on the outreach we’re doing and can follow our social media networks for daily stories from the project. They will also receive an evaluation report in the spring, demonstrating the success of Winter Wellbeing 2016/17.
Budget - Project Cost: £4,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £1,000 Outreach materials Leaflets, flyers and posters to let older neighbours know about support avaliable £2,000 Fuel Grants Small grants to support those older neighbours with the cost of bills £1,000 Blanket, gloves and clothes Clothing and materials to help keep older neighbours
Lambeth and Southwark are two of the most isolating parts of London – with rapid change resulting from globalisation and gentrification leaving many of the 47,000 older people behind. Both boroughs are in the top 12 most deprived in London and experience extreme health inequalities which are exacerbated by winter. South London Cares’ Winter Wellbeing project will harness the people and places around us to make sure people are included during – rather than further isolated by – the winter.
The most isolated over 65s across Southwark and Lambeth will be the primary beneficiaries of the Winter Wellbeing project. This is closely followed by their younger neighbours, who through supporting the project, will make greater connections within their communities. Local businesses will also benefit, as our outreach work will endeavour to link older neighbours with the people and places on their doorstep.
This will be the third year we have run this project, which has already been supported by local councils and a coalition of partners in the community. Through this and our year round social clubs and one-to-one relationship building we have a thorough understanding of our communities and know they have a high density of potentially isolated older neighbours. As a small charity, we are also agile to changing circumstances and able to deliver this project in both an efficient and a relatable way.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Rosa Friend: Volunteer And Outreach Officer
For the last 18 months Rosa’s created partnerships across our boroughs. She has exceptional perseverance and determination.
Alex Smith: Founder And CEO
Alex founded South London Cares in August 2014 and North London Cares in 2011. He will oversee the project and support its delivery and evaluation.
“I’ve been alone for 30 years. Is it me? I find it so difficult to make friends locally. These events [social clubs] are going to give me an incentive to do something with my life. Something to look forward to.”