Do you want to feel more connected to your local area and your neighbours?
Do you want to explore south London and share stories with local people?
Do you want to gain experience supporting others to feel less lonely whilst also improving your own wellbeing?
South London Cares brings older and younger people together – to share time, laughter, new experiences and friendship – so that everyone can feel part of our changing city, rather than left behind by it.
London is amazing. But living here can also leave people feeling anonymous, isolated and lonely. Older people may have deep roots in their area but fewer connections, while younger people may have many connections but can feel disconnected from their local area.
To support younger and older people alike to feel less lonely and more connected to others and the areas they live in, we run two programmes for our ‘neighbours’ to get involved in:
Social Clubs. These are group activities taking place throughout the week across Southwark and Lambeth, offering you the chance to share time, laughter, skills and new experiences with younger and older neighbours, including trips to the pub, dance workshops, singing, quizzes and film clubs.
Love Your Neighbour. This is our one-to-one friendship programme, where we introduce younger and older neighbours in Southwark and Lambeth to build a friendship through regular meet-ups or phone calls, or a mix of both. Neighbours generally catch up for about an hour once a week for company and conversation.
40% of older people say TV is their main form of company, while 17% see friends or family less than once a week. Similarly, 40% of people aged 16-24 say they feel lonely often or very often.
Our evaluation work has shown that both younger and older people benefit from taking part in our programmes. Older and younger neighbours alike feel reduced loneliness and isolation, an improved understanding across generational lines, and a sense of belonging to a community.
The neighbours in our network are from all ages and backgrounds. All we ask of our neighbours on our programmes is to respect each other and our values.
As a younger neighbour, you’ll be motivated by the opportunity to meet new people and try new things. But this can be daunting, which is why our team is here to support you to build friendships and share new experiences with neighbours in our network.
The neighbours in our network may be going through various life challenges, so the ability to empathise, listen and support one another is important, but these are also skills you will quickly develop by taking part in our programmes.
Our two programmes – Social Clubs and Love Your Neighbour – give neighbours the chance to meet new people and build connections in different ways.
Our Social Clubs programme is very flexible. After signing up and joining a welcome event for new younger neighbours, you are free to attend as many or as few social clubs as you wish each month – there is no minimum expectation. This allows you to balance coming along to our social clubs and meeting neighbours with other commitments. We are also happy to support younger neighbours to run their own social clubs, or to organise workshops and trips that would enrich our programme of regular social clubs.
Our Love Your Neighbour programme gives those who may not enjoy group settings the opportunity to meet a local older neighbour, so you don’t have to be outgoing or extroverted to build new friendships through South London Cares. However, you will be expected to spend roughly one hour per week visiting or calling your neighbour, and you will need to attend some extra training before we can introduce you.
Love Your Neighbour is our intergenerational one-to-one friendship programme. We introduce younger and older neighbours in Southwark and Lambeth, to share time, laughter, and joy together through regular meet-ups or phone calls, or a mix of both.
Our social clubs bring people together across generational divides to have fun; learn new things and create new friendships.