As spring comes around, we’re celebrating the completion of our fifth annual Winter Wellbeing project – and it’s been one of our most innovative to date. As in previous years, the aim was to reach out and support people over the age of 65 to stay warm, active, healthy and connected during some of the most isolating months of the year.
So between October 2018 and March 2019 – come rain or shine – we were out and about in the community, chatting to neighbours in the streets, at GP surgeries and supermarkets, and on their doorsteps.
Of the 1,649 conversations we had, 359 people asked for further support which equated to 549 interventions. These interventions included delivering warm items to people feeling the cold, offering small grants to those struggling to pay their bills, and connecting people to experts in housing, finance, energy saving and much more – as well, of course, as signing people up to South London Cares' own Social Clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes.
Take Anthony, 73, for example – he was referred to us by Lambeth social services for some company. After getting to know him better, we learnt of the many financial and housing issues he was facing. We referred him to Age UK Lambeth for advice with these issues and introduced him to GoodGym, as well as hand delivering some warm items and a small grant. Anthony now not only has a GoodGym volunteer visit him but he’s also been matched up with Parin, 39, through our Love Your Neighbour programme for weekly visits. That's two new friends!
Our offer of emotional and practical support over the darker, colder winter months ensures everyone we met felt valued and visible. Whether it was offering a listening ear, delivering warm items or grants, or signposting to the brilliant organisations in Southwark and Lambeth, we aimed to be there for those who felt they’d slipped through the gaps in services and also for people who may in future need help.
This year we explored many new avenues of work for the first time – from our first Winter Warmer social clubs, to linking up with housing associations to do door-knocking. Check out the infographic and full report below to learn more about our approach.
Posted by Jasmin White on Wednesday 17th April 2019
Jasmin is the Head of Programmes for South London Cares, managing and supporting our core team. Previously she was Programme Coordinator for Love Your Neighbour, connecting younger and older neighbours one-to-one for weekly visits and longterm friendship and worked for Headstart supporting young people to volunteer in their local community.