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Project information

Winter Wellbeing project

Winter can be isolating. And for many older neighbours, the short, dark days can make it difficult to go out, while freezing temperatures increase health risks.

Our Winter Wellbeing project will work to ensure older Londoners stay warm, active, healthy and connected throughout the winter months.

January 2019 - March 2019

Charity information: North London Cares

North London Cares logo
  • Need


    It is estimated that 250,000 older Londoners only see a friend, neighbour or family member once a week. And during the winter, darker evenings, freezing temperatures and icy conditions can leave older people feeling less able to leave their homes – drastically increasing their risk of social isolation.

    Meanwhile, high fuel costs and poor insulation can cause anxiety over significantly larger bills, and can often lead to older neighbours making the tough choice between heating and eating.


    We will door-knock, send letters and host community events to identify older neighbours who are feeling lonely and isolated and connect them to our Social Clubs (fun group activities) and Love Your Neighbour programme (one-to-one friendship matches).

    And to help them to keep warm, we will distribute warm clothing, blankets and small fuel grants so they can keep the heat on, and refer them for any additional support, including energy “doctors” and advice services.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Older neighbours become more connected during winter.


    » Older neighbours aged over 65 in Camden and Islington are contacted via door-knocking.
    » Older neighbours aged over 65 are contacted via letter, inviting them to call and offering a home visit.
    » Reengagement calls with older neighbours who we haven’t seen for over six months.
    » Community outreach events held to identify and connect with potentially isolated older neighbours.

    What success will look like

    Over 250 doors knocked on, 1,000 neighbours contacted by letter, 350 re-engagement calls and 35 outreach events, at which we meet 250 older neighbours.

    Aim 2

    Older neighbours feel warmer during the winter.


    » Neighbours who are struggling to stay warm receive hats, thermal socks, hot water bottles and blankets.
    » Grants of up to £100 are distributed to those in urgent need (up to £2,500 in total).

    What success will look like

    Distributing 90 warm items of clothing and 30 grants of up to £100.

    Aim 3

    Older neighbours are healthier during winter.


    » Older neighbours are referred or signposted to local health organisations such as GP surgeries and social services for support and assistance.
    » Older neighbours are connected to North London Cares’ activities - improving their wellbeing and tackling isolation.

    What success will look like

    Over 100 older neighbours signposted to local health services and 50 North London Cares Social Clubs held.

    Aim 4

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


    » Older neighbours share time with their younger neighbours (18-40) at our Social Clubs, hosted throughout Camden and Islington.
    » Older neighbours are matched up with a younger neighbour (18-40) through our Love Your Neighbour programme, to share time on a one-to-one basis.

    What success will look like

    Increased attendance at our Social Clubs and participation in our Love Your Neighbour programme.

  • Impact


    We will reduce isolation and loneliness across our patch in the long term by connecting older neighbours to our activities, helping them to form new social connections all year round.

    Our project will also improve their long-term health and wellbeing, with new boilers fitted, housing worries resolved and much more.

    We will demonstrate our success by recording the number of interactions, interventions, referrals made and items distributed by carrying out a survey at the end of the project.


    Risks could include: Not identifying the most isolated older neighbours; our referral and signposting partnerships breaking down; safeguarding when door-knocking.

    We will work closely with the local council, businesses and community partners to identify the neighbours most at risk of isolation. To ensure that our signposting partnerships remain strong, we will be timely and consistent in our communication. And to safeguard, all door-knocking activity will be carried out by our staff, in pairs.


    We will send our donors regular updates – complete with images, stories and quotes – via letter and email (depending on their communication preferences). We will also send them our final report at the end of the project, so they will be able to read about the full impact of their donation.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £500 Blankets and warm clothing Gloves, hats, blankets and other warm clothing to help older neighbours keep warm.
      £2,500 Winter grants Small fuel grants for older neighbours who are struggling to keep the heating on.
      £2,000 Door-knocks Connecting with the most isolated older neighbours by door-knocking throughout Camden and Islington.
      £2,000 Winter Social Clubs Funding for group activities across our boroughs in the winter months.
      £1,000 Friendship matches Funding for friendships with older neighbours we meet during the project.
      £12,000 Outreach Officer Salary and associated costs of two Outreach Officers

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Camden Council £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our project will take place in the London boroughs of Camden and Islington. We will focus on areas that we have identified as being most at risk through a variety of sources, including the Age UK Loneliness Heat Map, national statistics and local authority data. Areas we have identified so far include St Pancras and Somers Town, King’s Cross and Regent’s Park, and Finsbury Park.


    Older neighbours living in Camden and Islington aged 65 and older, who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness, will benefit from our project. Through our proactive outreach, they will be connected to our community network and share time with their younger neighbours. In addition to that, by offering warm items of clothing, practical advice and referrals to other services, our project will help to reduce some of the health risks older neighbours face.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Now in its eighth year, our Winter Wellbeing project has proven to be vital. Each year, our intensive outreach project has continued to grow and mature, as we learn how best to connect and support those who are most isolated or experiencing hardship. With this wealth of experience also comes an extensive network of community organisations, statutory services and local businesses, with whom we work in partnership to ensure that we can identify, connect and support those who most need our help.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Smith: Founder/CEO

    Alex founded North London Cares in 201. 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 coordinate distributing clothing, blankets and grants, as well our community outreach.

    Emily Clarke: Director Of Development

    Emily will lead on securing our pledge funding ahead of the Big Give Christmas Campaign, and head up the fundraising strategy during the campaign.

    Victoria Buckle: Development Coordinator

    Victoria will mobilise our volunteer pool to donate to the Big Give Christmas Campaign, and will also lead on social media communications.


could fund 50 door knocks, to check in on an older neighbour this winter.

‘Having someone to talk to was nice. If you don’t get to get out and meet people, it’s nice to be visited by someone, to sit down and have a chat and a bit of a laugh.’

Rose, 72, Finsbury Park