East London Cares brings together older and younger neighbours to share time, laughter and friendship. It has suspended face-to-face programmes for now to help keep older neighbours safe and healthy but is developing new ways to bring the generations together from afar during the period of social isolation.
Community organisation East London Cares has launched a matched crowdfunding appeal to enable the charity to support older people in Tower Hamlets and Hackney who will be affected by social isolation during the crisis.
Along with its sibling charities in the wider Cares Family, East London Cares has already piloted online social clubs, telephone calls between younger and older neighbours and intensive outreach efforts to help older people stay connected. It has also encouraged younger people to share poems, stories, messages, drawings and games with older neighbours, and older neighbours to write back to their friends in return.
As the needs of older people develop, these methods will continually evolve. Outreach Coordinator Sasha Khan said: “We work with older people who are most at risk of both Covid-19 and social isolation. Our job in the coming weeks and months will be to help older neighbours in our boroughs to stay connected from afar. In this disconnecting and worrying time, that’s even more important than ever. We’re inspired by the beautiful messages of hope neighbours have already shared with one another.”
As well as helping older people to connect to the local community, East London Cares will offer information services and emotional and practical support.
The crowdfunder was launched on March 18th 2020 – and all donations are being doubled by a generous supporter. The charity is aiming to raise £20,000.