Loneliness is hard to measure because, like many emotions, it’s a subjective experience rather than a hard medical condition. You can be deeply lonely in a marriage, for example, or even in a room full of people. But we also know that loneliness is unnecessary, and heartbreaking. And we believe we can fix it.
North London Cares and South London Cares are community networks of young professionals and older neighbours – the first and second loneliest demographics of people in the country – hanging out and helping one another in our rapidly changing capital city.
We bring people together across social, generational, digital, cultural and attitudinal divides to help people build relationships and soften the affects of rapid urban change. In the context of globalisation, accelerated gentrification, migration, digitisation and community transformation perpetuated by the housing bubble, those new friendships and new experiences can mean a lot.
Through social clubs like dance parties, new technology workshops, business visits, pub clubs, film nights and more, and one-to-one relationships between younger and older neighbours who share time, laughter and the new experiences that ultimately make life worth living, our work is shown to reduce isolation, improve wellbeing, and help people feel they have someone to rely on.
Alex Smith, Founder of North London Cares & South London Cares