Hanging on the telephone

In January, we re-launched our Phone Social Clubs. Similar to our Virtual Social Clubs, these take place over Zoom, but the difference is everyone joins via their phone – allowing anyone who doesn’t have a device or knowledge of technology to take part.

In four months, we’ve had 13 older neighbours and 19 younger neighbours join one of our Phone Social Clubs. It’s been a chance to connect with others for the first time and to talk to old friends – a number of these neighbours have joined a South London Cares club for the first time since we suspended face-to-face programmes in March 2020. It’s always lovely when neighbours recognise each other, having met in person at a Social Club in the past.

At Phone Social Clubs, neighbours are given different topics to discuss in smaller groups – pairs or threes. So far, we’ve talked about what animal we would be; who we'd invite to our dream dinner party, and what food we'd have; what is the best piece of advice we’ve been given; and what are our favourite fictional stories and characters from childhood. One of the best aspects of Phone Social Clubs is the opportunity to hear and share neighbours’ stories in their own words, such as how Hugh felt after watching James Bond when he was younger.

“I was thinking about the club all yesterday evening, so I wanted to call to say thank you!”

Phone Social Clubs have also encouraged neighbours to join other South London Cares activities. The majority of regular Virtual Social Clubs have the option to join by phone. Frances, after attending her first Phone Social Club in February, has since become a regular at Creative Writing, where she composed and shared this poem. Several younger and older neighbours who have attended Phone Social Clubs are now also been matched on our Love Your Neighbour programme, so they can spend time chatting one-to-one with a neighbour regularly.

Even as our activities change over the coming months as lockdown restrictions ease, we know Phone Social Clubs will remain a key part of activities, supporting new neighbours to connect remotely and open the door to our other programmes.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining our Phone Social Clubs, please feel free to give us a call on 020 7118 0404, and we can get you started!

Harry Jenkins

Posted by Harry Jenkins on Monday 24th May 2021

Head of Programmes

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