Confronting isolation during the pandemic

“I do look forward to those events. It does give me something to look forward to, they become a big part of your routine.” Programme participant

 

Initially set up in 2014, Islington Giving’s Older Peoples programme is a continuation and development of the Saturday Socials programme for Islington residents aged over 55, delivered in partnership with local organisations All Change, Cubitt Arts and North London Cares.

The programme has helped establish strong relationships and trust among older people locally and has really shown its worth throughout the pandemic with partners providing a consistent and familiar source of support and reassurance during the crisis.

The experience over the past 12 months has provided invaluable insight into the value of this programme when it has been needed most, not only to participants but also to staff, volunteers and wider partners.

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, each partner worked together and shared practice to find ways to overcome barriers in a number of proactive ways. They have had to adapt their practices, rapidly changing how they work to meet emerging needs and challenges. They have delivered an exceptional array of activity to reach a diverse mix of older people, providing continuity, support, comfort and connection to isolated older people across the borough.

 

Grandads, Dads & Lads – Football Needs Fans workshop by AllChange – June 2020

 

Each partner has also developed new skills and resources, which will inform future delivery – particularly when it comes to engaging those who have always been and continue to be most isolated.

All Change and Cubitt Arts have each shared some compelling stories of the programme and we’ve decided to highlight one of each group:

 

Saturday Socials is funded through Islington Giving’s partnership with Arsenal who have supported the project since its inception as well as coalition partner City Bridge Trust.