Alex Smith, Founder & CEO of The Cares Family one of first 20 Obama Foundation Fellows

Alex Smith, the Founder & CEO of The Cares Family (encompassing North London Cares, South London Cares and Manchester Cares) has been chosen as one of the 20 inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows. The Fellows are civic leaders, chosen from over 20,000 applicants worldwide.

The Cares Family began here, in North London, and Islington Giving is proud to have supported the organisation since its early days. A small grant awarded in 2012 enabled North London Cares to test its innovative social clubs for older residents. Since then, in partnership with All Change and Cubitt, North London Cares has delivered Islington Giving’s Saturday Socials programme which provides weekend activities and social events for Islington’s older residents.

The weekend can be a lonely time for older people. Each week, the Saturday Socials programme provides the chance for hundreds of older residents to come together to create, move and spend time with younger people living and working in the borough. Loads of friendships have blossomed as a result of these weekend sessions. Ellie, who works full time but visits her friend Joan every week says that “Those two hours where I step out of my day and catch up with Joan’s comings-and-goings are always a highlight of my week. We talk about everything under the sun.”

The story of the Cares Family’s growth (and Alex’s fantastic achievement) is an inspiring example of the positive change that is made possible in Islington every day for local people. To help us identify other innovative ways of changing lives for good in this borough, please read more about how you can support us, or get in touch via mail@islingtongiving.org.uk, or using 020 7288 6941.