Canonbury’s Good Neighbours Scheme helps to fight isolation

Ernie, 76, regularly attends one of the coffee morning events organised by the scheme

A good neighbourhood scheme is helping to improve the health and well-being of residents by hosting a number of events at a local community centre in Canonbury.

Working in collaboration with Connect Help on Your Doorstep and Islington Giving, the Canonbury Good Neighbourhood Scheme offers nine different events across the week including yoga for the elderly, football practise for kids and an ADHD support service.

Launched in 2012 with the help of NHS Islington CCG, the scheme started by holding coffee mornings for residents as well as ‘stay-and-play’ sessions for families and young children.

“Communities were dying of deaf. Neighbours were not speaking to each other… and that affected mental and physical well-being”, Nicky Ludgate, project coordinator said. “People use the doctor’s surgery less, people’s depression is less,” she added.

Aysha, a mother of four, has been attending the scheme’s ADHD support group for two years. “Just meeting other parents who are going through the same thing is really helpful,” she said.

“You find friendships here as well, so you are not alone or isolated,” said Abby, whose daughter is living with special needs.

Connect Help on Your Doorstep knocked on over 20,000 Islington doors last year alone, working with residents to help them find solutions to the problems that can make life difficult. It also provides information and referrals to specialist advice organisation and services.