2014-2024: Our story

Ssf 1 Branches


Our founder Alex met isolated older neighbour Fred in north London and took him for his first haircut in three months, inspiring the idea for our first sibling charity North London Cares. Watch the video of our founding story >>

Ssf 2 Branches


North London Cares, our first sibling charity, pened spontaneously in August 2011 amid rioting by mobilising young people to assist with the cleanup. Within hours 5,000 people had visited our website and Mayor of London had tweeted to thank us for our role in the post-riots narrative.

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Our model featured in BBC1's Inside Out documentary, with our social clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes highlighted. Watch the documentary here >>



Our Community Fundraising programme was created so that, as well as raising money, older and younger neighbours had the opportunity to lead South London Cares, to share time and friendship, and to show that when people work together, they can share power and a sense of belonging. In 2011, when we first started, we had no money to fund our mission at all. By 2019, 40% of South London Cares’ budget was funded by you, the community. Through sporting challenges, community events, individual donations, business partnerships and online campaigns, hundreds of south Londoners were helping to fund the community they loved.

Ssf 4 Branches


In 2011, North London Cares was one charity working across two boroughs in north London. By 2017, we had grown to three charities. At South London Cares, we had been operating for three years, and Manchester Cares had just thrown open its doors and invited older and younger Mancunians to spend time with one another.

Ssf 5 Branches


What started as a ripple was becoming a wave of connection gathering pace across the country. In 2018, we opened Liverpool Cares.

The Cares Family


And in 2019, East London Cares joined the family – to tackle isolation and loneliness and connect younger and older neighbours across Tower Hamlets and Hackney. That’s how The Cares Family is a family in more than a name – it’s a place for people to belong, and to feel ‘part of something bigger'.

Ssf 7 Branches


2020 changed how we interact with our communities more rapidly than ever before. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing social isolation brought new challenges to our model. But, just as our community stepped up to help one another out nearly a decade before in the wake of the riots, neighbours came to each other's aid again to help each other stay connected – online, on the phone and in the community, albeit not face-to-face. That's how, in 2020 and 2021, we worked with more people than ever before.

Kelly Stephen And Brenda


South London Cares celebrated our 8th birthday in August, with both new and familiar faces joining us for our biggest in-person social club in three years! After all the challenges of the previous few years, it was great to celebrate together once again.

The Cares Family


In November 2023, South London Cares and The Cares Family board made a decision to close due to difficulty fundraising. South London Cares and The Cares Family may no longer be operational, but the ripple effect of our work continues to flow across the country and around the world. Find out more about our legacy vision at www.thecaresfamily.org.uk.