2019-2023: About East London Cares

East London is amazing. In Hackney and Tower Hamlets, you’ll find world-famous markets, arts venues and people from all over the world. But as our modern world moves at breakneck speed, living here can also leave people feeling anonymous, isolated and lonely.

This is particularly the case for older people whose social networks may have frayed and whose communities are transforming faster than ever before due to globalisation, gentrification, digitisation, transience and housing bubbles; and for younger people facing work and social media pressures and often living far from friends and family.

Increasingly, as our city transforms, those two groups are living in parallel worlds. That separation wastes human potential, entrenches loneliness and isolation, perpetuates division, and is ultimately corrosive for our society.

That’s why, from 2019 to 2023, East London Cares brought older and younger people together – to share time, laughter, new experiences and friendship – so that everyone could feel part of our changing city, rather than left behind by it. As Part of The Cares Family, our objectives were to:

  • Build local intergenerational relationships by:
    • Bringing older and younger people together in Hackney and Tower Hamlets and sustaining meaningful relationships between them;
    • Supporting older and younger neighbours to feel visible, confident and that they have a stake in their communities through their relationships with one another.
  • Spur a national ripple connection by:
    • Sharing our learning with others;
    • Shifting narratives, attitudes and behaviours.
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Our biggest impact: the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, when we were just a few months old, East London Cares, along with the rest of The Cares Family, suspended face-to-face activity amid the emerging COVID-19 crisis. We swiftly re-invented our programmes to maintain connection, community and our values (kindness, community, trust, bravery, learning) at their heart.

In the midst of that crisis, in 2020 and 2021, East London London Cares and The Cares Family connected more older and younger neighbours than ever before. We are so proud of that impact.

As restrictions eased we resumed face-to-face programmes, but also offered offer blended online and in-person programmes.