East London Cares’ pro-active outreach approach harnesses people and places within the community, to identify older and younger neighbours who’d like to share time and laughter with another generation.
We work with local partners across the public, private and community sectors, to place ourselves in spaces that encounter older neighbours at risk of isolation all the time - including chemists, GP surgeries, pubs, betting shops, libraries and community centres. We also utilise the value that those community partnerships bring by encouraging partners to refer older neighbours to East London Cares’ programmes, and by introducing older neighbours in our network to services and activities available in their area.
Over recent months, the closure of community centres, separation from friends and family, cancellation of hospital appointments, lack of access to the internet, sudden reliance on shopping services or mutual aid groups, and the ever-present fear of falling ill are issues that have dominated the lives of many older people. Covid-19 has forced us to quickly adapt and revise our outreach approach to help older neighbours find the connection they need.
Now, through our year-round outreach East London Cares will:
- Call hundreds of older neighbours to check-in and connect them to our virtual and phone-in social clubs (and face-to-face when it’s safe to do so);
- Match older neighbours with younger friends for regular phone calls, conversation and friendship (and visits when feasible);
- Support older neighbours to navigate tech through our one-to-one Zoom tutorials and other practical learning sessions;
- Connect older people to help with practical tasks like shopping and prescription deliveries;
- Help over 65s to access health services, information on where to get a flu jab and up-to-date advice during the coronavirus pandemic;
- Arrange small grants to help people in difficult circumstances overcome the barriers to connection;
- Introduce neighbours to other local activities hosted by our wonderful partners in the local community, as well as support with benefits and housing advice.
How you or your organisation can get involved:
- Make a referral for anyone aged over 65, living in Tower Hamlets or Hackney;
- Invite us to your team meetings or outreach events to talk about our programmes and answer any questions;
- Display our leaflets and posters, or add East London Cares information to any mail-outs that get sent to your network;
- Encourage your teams to join our Community Partner mailing list;
- We are always looking for new ways to collaborate and learn from local groups and partners. If that sounds like you, contact us below, and our Outreach Coordinator Anna will be in touch to find out what services and activities you are offering and how we can collaborate.