North & South London Cares
“I was just crying, crying all the time,” Maria tells her friend, Rosa, as she explains what it was like to leave her native Portugal to make a better life in London. She endured many lonely months in the city before her five-year old son could join her. “Oh, the homesickness,” she says.
Rosa knows about homesickness too. She was born in Australia, grew up in Sussex, and went to university in Cambridge, before she moved to London to work. “It’s one of those things that’s really hard to shake,” she tells Maria.
Listening to these two women share their stories, you’d think they were old friends. In fact, this is their first proper chat. They’re on a visit to the Imperial War Museum organised by South London Cares, a small charity
that connects elderly residents of Lambeth and Southwark with young professionals from the same boroughs. Maria is 82. Rosa is 25.
Alex Smith was inspired to create the charity, and now North London Cares, in 2010. The two charities now work with 1,600 elderly people, whom they respectfully call “neighbours”, and about the same number of young volunteers.Click here to view full story >