About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Birthday celebrations for the Cares family

An inspirational aspect of The Future of People Powered Health was, for me, hearing from the four organisations that we invited on stage to tell their stories in our Innovator Showcase sessions.

They captured the audience's attention by sharing the challenges they had faced; proving that, by pushing for their beliefs and co-producing ideas, they had succeeded in driving for a people powered health solution.

In the second innovator pitch session, we heard from Alex Smith, Founder of North London Cares and South London Cares.

Where it all began

The Cares Family is a group of community networks of young professionals and older neighbours, who meet to support and socialise with each other. We were privileged to hear from their Founder, Alex Smith, who premiered the new video for South London Cares.

Alex told us about how he met Fred, a neighbour for many years but someone with whom Alex was not socially connected. This realisation prompted Alex to act.

The impact to date

Since his meeting with Fred, Alex has set up both North London Cares, which has just turned six years old, and South London Cares, which recently turned three.

Nesta, in partnership with the Cabinet Office, supported North London Cares to replicate their successful model in South London, in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.

Between the two charities they have reached out to 4,500 young professionals and 4,000 older neighbours to develop intergenerational connections in several ways: social clubs, love your neighbour schemes, community outreach and fundraising.

What next?

Now, as they look to the future, the Cares Family are seeking ways to expand the model into other big cities, to help more people feel part of the rapidly changing world, rather than left behind by it.

Nesta and the Big Lottery Fund are supporting the Cares Family, as part of our Accelerating Ideas programme, to achieve this goal.

In fact, the first new Cares community has just been launched in Manchester. As Alex Smith explained: "When we begin Manchester Cares programmes in the autumn, we will harness the people and places of the city, old and new – and help form relationships between people who live side-by-side but too infrequently interact: young professionals just arriving and the older originals who've got so much to share too."

To find out more about the Cares Family programmes check out their websites: North London Cares, South London Cares and Manchester Cares. Follow them all on twitter @NorthLDNCares, @SouthLDNCares and @ManchesterCares.

You can watch the session from the Future of People Powered Health here 

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Annette Holman

Annette Holman

Annette Holman

Programme Manager, Government Innovation Team

Annette worked in the Government Innovation Team at Nesta focusing on social action priorities, specifically on the Connected Communites and Second Half Fund.

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