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There With You: Camden and Islington charity for young and old launches coronavirus appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:01 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 30 March 2020

"I phoned Jean and she sounded cut off from the world, so I called over to give a friendly wave through the window, left a (sanitised) book and blew a kiss." Picture: Orla Cullen

Orla Cullen

A Camden and Islington charity which brings together the young and old has launched a matched-crowdfunding appeal to keep people connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

North London Cares (NLC) is aiming to raise £20,000 to develop its online social clubs, telephone call services and outreach efforts.

With face-to-face programmes suspended, the charity has been encouraging its neighbours to share poems, stories, messages, drawings and games with each other.

NLC development coordinator Imogen Duffin said: “We’re already inspired by the beautiful messages of hope and resilience neighbours have shared with one another.

“Our job over the next few weeks is to ensure neighbours in our boroughs have the support they need and help them stay connected from afar in this moment of crisis.”

From Wednesday (April 1), the charity is launching an #alonetogether project, sending activity packs to more than 1,000 older north Londoners.

Each day there will be a different activity for them to complete, such as writing a poem or creating an Easter bonnet.

There will then be an online social club where members can come together and talk about the activities. Seated yoga is another popular social club continuing online.

As part of its mission to bridge digital divides, NLC holds workshops and Zoom classes.

Florence, 96, and Lauren, 31, have been friends for months through the charity’s ‘Love Your Neighbour’ one-to-one friendship programme.

Last week the friends swapped their usual face-to-face hang out for a FaceTime chat.

With its purpose to reduce isolation and loneliness, North London Cares helps people with the difficulties that self-isolation poses.

Imogen stresses that the charity is also about helping younger people who benefit from the experiences and wisdom of their older neighbours.

The crowdfunder is needed to make up for the charity’s significant loss of income through challenge fundraisers such as half marathons.

As well as helping older people to connect to the local community, NLC provides information services and emotional and practical support.

For more information visit northlondoncares.org.uk or for the crowdfunder click here.

For the latest coronavirus news from the Ham&High and across north London visit our live blog and join our Facebook group.

For our essential list of community groups click here.


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