Syed's 100 Clubs

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Syed is about to hit the incredible milestone of 100 social clubs with South London Cares. His positivity, energy and love for his neighbours have all contributed in making him such a valuable part of the SLC family. We caught up with him for a bit of a chat before he celebrated this massive achievement:

Hi Syed! Can you remember your first social club and how you felt on the way there?

My first social club was Quiz night in Elephant & Castle. I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know what to expect. However, I was quickly put at ease when I met Pat. Pat and I first met on a very rainy day a few weeks before. We spoke a little about the rain and headed off in different directions but I didn’t catch her name. Pat and I met at Quiz night and we had such a laugh that day. The other people in our team assumed we have been friends for a long time. It was here that my journey began with SLC.

Tricky question alert! What's been your best experience at South London Cares?

South London Cares gives you the opportunity to meet a diverse, talented and interesting community (consisting of younger and older neighbours) with so many stories and different experiences. We consistently hear negative news (Global pandemic and wars) but the staff at SLC: Andy, Dupe, Fleur and others bring with them such positive vibes and energies that at the end of each social club, you will leave with a smile.

During the pandemic, the social clubs were still running but via Zoom. It was so important to support each other in those difficult times and despite being stuck at home, we didn’t feel alone. The Cares family Disco party via Zoom with people from South London Cares, North London Cares, Manchester Cares and Liverpool Cares (60-70 people in attendance) was legendary! After the party, it was obvious that South Londoners are the best dancers.

Recently, we had our South London Cares: The Musical (the cast was made up with volunteers and older neighbours) and the production was spectacular!! “Be careful of Mr Iso.Lation”

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How many years has it taken you to hit the big 100?

Feb 2017 was my first club and I should reach (fingers crossed) my 100th club late October/early November 2023. It has taken 6.5 wonderful years- filled with laughter, dancing and plenty of hugs. However, I still have a long way to go as our beloved neighbour Frances managed to attend 263 social clubs. She was a true superstar and an inspiration.

How has South London Cares made a difference to your life?

It has made a difference and I feel blessed as through SLC, I have befriended many remarkable and extraordinary individuals - younger neighbours like Philip, Dom, Deb, Sarah and Ed and older neighbours like Barry, Brian, Frances, Pat, Rene, Wendy and many more. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank South London Cares enough. It has been quite a journey and it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this community. “South London Cares, a special space, where friendships grow at every pace.”

Smiles

We want to say a huge thank you to Syed for his dedication, passion and support that he has shown us over the years. We are lucky to have him and look forward to seeing him at many more clubs over the years. Here's to 200!

Andy Naylor

Posted by Andy Naylor on Tuesday 24th October 2023

Head of Programmes at South London Cares