Project information

Winter Wellbeing 2017/18

For many older people, winter is the most isolating time. That’s why we've created our annual Winter Wellbeing project – proactive outreach in which our community will deliver blankets and grants and invite older neighbours to social clubs to help them stay warm, active and connected during winter.

December 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: North London Cares

North London Cares logo
  • Need


    In Camden and Islington, 90% of older neighbours say they feel isolated. The winter – with its unpredictable weather and cold, dark days – deepens feelings of isolation. Socialising becomes harder, negatively affecting people’s wellbeing and adding to existing health challenges. Indeed, 70% of people aged 65 or over are diagnosed with one or more long term health condition, making them much more susceptible to the cold and isolation. This leads to severe pressures on the NHS and social care.


    Our project will keep our older neighbours warm, well and connected this winter. We will do this by striking up conversations with older neighbours, distributing warm clothing and blankets, helping them keep the heat on, referring them for additional support, and connecting them to our activities. Our project will not only help those experiencing poor health and wellbeing, but prevent older neighbours becoming isolated and developing new health conditions during the harshest time of the year.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Older neighbours become more connected during winter


    » Door-knock and contact older neighbours in our local community, to check on their health and wellbeing.
    » Connect them to our community network of neighbours, and encourage them to participate in our activities, including Social Clubs.

    What success will look like

    Over 1,000 interactions with older neighbours. Approx. 300 interventions to support older neighbours who need assistance such as a blanket, financial assistance, or a referral.

    Aim 2

    Older neighbours feel warmer during the winter


    » Distribute warm clothing and blankets to older neighbours who are struggling to stay warm.
    » Assess neighbours and distribute small grants to help people struggling to pay fuel bills to heat their homes.
    » Connect people to local services to help improve energy efficiency e.g. new boiler schemes, increased insulation in their homes etc.

    What success will look like

    We distribute over 50 items of warm clothing and over 20 small fuel grants to older neighbours that are struggling to stay warm. Refer 50 neighbours fo energy efficiency support.

    Aim 3

    Older neighbours are healthier during winter


    » Referring and signposting people suffering poor health to relevant services e.g. social services, GPs, etc.
    » Connecting them to North London Cares’ activities, to tackle and prevent isolation and loneliness.

    What success will look like

    Over 100 neighbours are referred/signposted to relevant local services.

    Aim 4

    Older and younger neighbours bridge generational, cultural, social, digital and attitudinal divides


    » Younger neighbours will meet their older neighbours by taking part in our Outreach work during the winter months.
    » Older and younger neighbours will share time, laughter and conversation at Social Clubs and through our Love Your Neighbour programme.

    What success will look like

    We will gain an increase in Social Cub and Love Your Neighbour attendances following the project. Around 20 younger neighbours will take part in Outreach work in the community.

  • Impact


    Our Winter Wellbeing project will lead to a long term reduction in loneliness and social isolation amongst older neighbours. We will demonstrate our success by collecting both qualitative and quantitative data throughout the next year about the older neighbours we meet through the project. We will record the number of activities they attend, and carry out a qualitative snapshot of neighbours' experiences to assess the impact our outreach and activities have had on their lives.


    Risks of this work include not identifying the most isolated people: we work closely with local councils to identify our most isolated older neighbours, and by ensuring that we visit places that encounter isolation every day such as local paper shops, GPs, pharmacies and food banks. We are also careful to safeguard everyone: through a robust safeguarding policy including provisions for training volunteers to identify and manage risks and interactions with older people at risk of isolation.


    We will send donors regular updates on the difference their donation makes, via social media and emails, as well as sending them our final project report detailing the full impact of the project. We will write to donors again where a donation has an ongoing, longer term impact on older neighbours.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,000 Warm clothing and blankets. Gloves, hats, blankets and other warm clothing to help older neighbours keep warm.
      £2,000 Winter Social Clubs Funding for group activities across our boroughs in the winter months.
      £2,000 Love Your Neighbour Funding for friendships with older neighbours we meet during the project.
      £1,000 Outreach materials Flyers, leaflets, and other printed materials to raise awareness of the project.
      £2,000 Fuel grants Small fuel grants for older neighbours who are struggling to keep the heating on.
  • Background


    Our project will take place in the London boroughs of Camden and Islington, where an estimated 25,700 older people often feel lonely. The Loneliness Index created by Age UK identifies areas across the UK that have a high ‘risk of loneliness’. It highlights the areas of Kilburn, Camden Town, St Pancras and Somers Town, King’s Cross and Regent’s Park, Caledonian Road, Holloway, Finsbury Park and Highbury West as at particularly high risk. Our project will pay special attention to these areas.


    Older people aged 65 and over living in Camden and Islington will benefit, as our project works to keep them warm, well and connected. Young professionals living and/or working in Camden and Islington will also benefit, through making greater connections in their local community, causing an increase neighbourliness. Local businesses will also benefit, as our outreach work will endeavour to link older neighbours with the people and places on their doorstep so they feel better connected.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    This will be our seventh winter project and we've worked with more older neighbours every year. For three years we have also run the project at our sister charity South London Cares. With year-round activities, we are ideally placed to offer both short term and long term support to older people we meet in the winter. Working at the intersection of the public, private and community sectors and targeting our approach to those most at risk of isolation enables us to make best use of our networks.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Smith: Founder/CEO

    Alex founded North London Cares in 2011 and South London Cares in August 2014. He will oversee the project and support its delivery and evaluation.

    Roxanne Rustem: Volunteer And Outreach Coordinator

    Roxanne will lead on our Winter Wellbeing project. She will co-ordinate distributing clothing, blankets and grants, as well as community outreach.

    Emily Clarke: Head Of Development

    Emily will lead on our match fundraising ahead of the Big Give, mobilising our network of donors to support this year’s campaign.

    Victoria Buckle: Development Coordinator

    Victoria will lead on our digital fundraising during the week of the Big Give, ensuring the winter message is heard widely.