South London Cares is a community network of young professionals and older neighbours hanging out and helping one another in our rapidly changing city.
Love Your Neighbour is South London Cares friendship matching scheme, bringing young professional volunteers (usually in their 20s and 30s) together with their older neighbours (aged over 65) to spend time one-to-one each week. Friends will normally enjoy a cup of tea together, and have a natter about all sorts – from work to relationships to days gone by. Both the younger and older neighbour benefit from the opportunity to spend time together.
What makes a good LYN volunteer?
Energy, perseverance & listening skills: due to isolation, some older people in the Love Your Neighbour programme are out of practice at the back-and-forth of conversations. At first, volunteers might need to ask a lot of questions to keep the conversation flowing.
Reliability: this is key to building trust and strong friendship. Being let down can exacerbate feelings of loneliness for the older neighbours on the programme.
Empathy: showing understanding to your older neighbour when they’re going through difficulties or changes in circumstance.
Neighbourly gestures: think creatively about how to bring joy and new experiences to the person you’re matched up with.
Looking out for your older neighbour: practical help that you might offer to a friend, such as changing lightbulbs or connecting to local services.
Please note, our Love Your Neighbour volunteers must also live or work in Southwark or Lambeth, the boroughs in which we work. This is to ensure that the visits are easy to make – and therefore sustainable – and so you really are neighbours with your match! There is also a 6 month minimum commitment to this volunteering opportunity.
If you’re interested and would like more information, please get in touch with Oliver, the Love Your Neighbour Programme Coordinator for Southwark at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We look forward to hearing from you!