Confronting Isolation

Everyone can be lonely sometimes, but most of us have people we can rely on to support us, whether its family or friends. Some people, however, have small social networks – they may have few close friends, or none, and might not have family, or none they are close to. Research shows that loneliness has the same risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – it isn’t just bad for people’s happiness, but bad for their health.

Islington Giving is confronting isolation in the borough, helping to ensure that people have new opportunities to socialise, make friends and get involved in activities that connect them to other people. So far we have invested more than £600,000 in projects that reduce loneliness. Some of the projects are large and open, such as the ‘Get Togethers’ we set up with Age UK to provide new social groups for older people across the borough. Some are much more targeted, like the one-to-one therapy provided by The Women’s Therapy Centre and Maya Centre to help isolated local women.

Both your time and your money make a big difference to isolated Islington people. You can find out more about the projects Islington Giving has supported so far here.

Age UK Islington

Age UK is running the Giving Time, Giving Help project, developed with Islington Giving. Its ‘Get Togethers’ are fun, social activities based at all kinds of places across the borough, including pubs, cafés, gardens and local venues like the Union Chapel and Sobell Leisure Centre. Taking place at different times all over the borough, ‘Get Togethers’ provide easy opportunities for older people to socialise close to home. Supported by the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust & City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust.


Angel Community Canal Boat Trust

Boat trips on the Regent’s Canal are a great way of seeing a different side of Islington and finding out more about local history and wildlife. Islington Giving has supported the Canal Boat Trust to run extra, free trips for isolated residents, providing fun, social and memorable new experiences.


Body & Soul

Islington Giving supported the ‘Scenes from Life’ project. Evening art classes and activities gave people affected by HIV a safe, informal place to socialise and explore their feelings and experiences.


Centre 404

Centre 404 got a team of volunteers together, including members of its gardening club, to go out and spend time with isolated people. Volunteers helped people set up window box gardens, also dropping by for a chat and cup of tea. Volunteers let people know about other activities that were available, encouraging isolated people to try new things and meet new people.


Claremont Project

Claremont Project is running a new social prescribing project. Local GPs and nurses can ‘prescribe’ people activities at Claremont – a way of helping those who are isolated to try new things and socialise in a friendly, local place, supported along the way by a member of Claremont’s team.


Culpeper Community Garden

Culpeper is a beautiful, public garden just a short walk from Angel tube station. It gives local people their own growing plots, opportunities to learn about plants and wildlife or just a calm place to sit and have lunch. Islington Giving funded a series of extra activities for more isolated members of the garden, including craft projects, cooking classes and trips to see other gardens.

The Cripple Gate Foundation

Family Action Islington

Islington Giving is working with Family Action to offer new opportunities to parents and children under 5 in the north of Islington. Family Action is providing a range of activities for families in particular need, helping them to meet new people and get to know about all of the support and activities available in their area.


Finsbury and Clerkenwell Volunteers

Islington Giving helped Finsbury and Clerkenwell Volunteers to expand its Telephone Club to the weekends, and arrange making sure isolated local older people were supported at a time that can be particularly lonely, when lots of services are closed. Volunteers also arranged additional weekend trips, including shopping trips and other days out.

Friends of King Henry’s Walk Garden

King Henry’s Walk Garden ran Sunday events for older residents, including many from a local extra care unit. More than 100 people took part in activities such as beer making, cheese tasting, exploring medicinal uses of herbs and sharing experiences of the war, all taking place in an award-winning community garden.


Hillside Clubhouse

Hillside Clubhouse was supported to run an outreach service to get more people with mental health problems involved in all of its activities and services. Getting a paid job, studying and having a social life are the norm for most of the Clubhouse’s members, as they receive support to participate fully in everyday life.


Holloway Neighbourhood Group

Holloway Neighbourhood Group ran the Super Seniors project. A range of new activities were set up to encourage more older people to get involved, including cake decorating classes, digital photography workshops, gardening and Twitter classes.


Islington MIND

Islington Giving helped Islington MIND to set up an out of hours project – the Freedom Club – run by people experiencing mental health problems. Running, and taking part in drop-in activities has helped people to take more control of their lives, whilst using their own experiences to help others.

Key Changes

Key Changes works in hospitals and out in the community, helping people with severe and enduring mental health problems to change their lives through music. Its members played 10 pop-up concerts for Islington Giving, everywhere from the Whitecross Street Festival to Bolt Burdon Solicitors, sharing the skills and confidence they have gained through Key Changes’ support.

North London Cares

Islington Giving is supporting North London Cares to provide fun, flexible ways to give time helping older neighbours, whether visiting someone in their home or spending time at one of many regular activities, including film and cooking clubs, concert trips and new technology workshops.

North London Cares is also working with Cubitt Gallery and All Change Arts on ‘Saturday Socials’, fun activities and events for the over 55s, developed with young people.


Stuart Low Trust

Stuart Low Trust (SLT) runs activities to combat loneliness, physical and mental health problems. People told SLT that being isolated and battling mental ill health is most difficult at weekends in the winter months. Islington Giving supported SLT to run Saturday drop-ins, where more than 100 people got involved in activities including baking, quilting and jewellery-making, or just popped in for a chat.


The Manna

The Manna helps people who are isolated, whether due to homelessness, poor health, addiction or for other reasons. Islington Giving helped The Manna to run small group activities, providing a wider range of activities for people to take part in and bringing out their talents. This included writing poetry, singing, cooking and art classes.


The Maya Centre

The Maya Centre provides long-term counselling for isolated and disadvantaged women. Its services are entirely free. Islington Giving helped provide individual counselling for women aged 60 and over, a group at particular risk of isolation. The support inspired Maya to restart its therapy group for older women, providing additional, ongoing support for local women.


Women’s Therapy Centre

Women’s Therapy Centre was supported by Islington Giving to provide specialist psychotherapy to women affected by childhood sexual abuse. It helped isolated women to increase their confidence and to be better able to make positive changes in their lives.