Connect Hackney

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Connect Hackney is working with partners from across the borough’svoluntary and community sectorto achieve our aim of reducing and preventing social isolation for people aged 50 and over.

In phase one (2015-18) of Connect Hackney we funded over 20 community projects to support older people to participate in activities designed to bring them into contact with other people in the community, with the aim of improving their wellbeing.

The learning and evidence from phase one has shaped our commissioning priorities going forward. New partners in the current stage of phase two (2018-21) are focusing on:

Addressing the needs of groups that are more likely to face social isolation:

  • People with learning disabilities;
  • People from BAME communities (Turkish and Kurdish; Black African – other than Nigerian who are already well represented in the programme; Asian: Indian, Bengali, Chinese and Vietnamese; Other smaller ethnic communities in the borough – for example Latin American);
  • Men;
  • People with complex needs (depression/anxiety).

Investing in models that break down barriers to social participation

  • Community connections;
  • Digital inclusion;
  • Community activities in spaces for all.

Current partners


Shoreditch Trust’s ‘Community Connectors’ work with local partners to reach socially isolated people aged 50 and over. The project will provide one-to-one sessions with older people to help them build confidence, motivation and understanding to engage with peers, local groups and social activities. The project will be delivered from accessible community spaces, complemented by home visits to suit the needs of the people accessing the service.


Target group: MEN

Action on Hearing Loss are working with men over the age of 50 who have confirmed or unidentified hearing loss. They provide access to one-to-one and community hearing screening checks, with follow-up support, hearing aid maintenance support groups and befriending visits.

Target group: MEN

City and Hackney Carers ‘Hackney Brocals’ is a multi-generational befriending project. It takes a multi-pronged approach to tackling loneliness through a programme of social excursions across the borough and beyond. The project includes volunteering and a buddying system which sees younger volunteers committing to visit isolated elders in the community.

Target group: MEN

Hackney Co-operative Developments is delivering a programme of activities aimed mainly at men aged over 50 that use Gillett Square in Dalston area as a place to gather and socialise.

All activities involve men aged 50 and over as session leaders or volunteers. Additionally, the men are encouraged to organise their own small-scale community events and to take an active role in existing events, play sessions and the Gillett Square Action Group.

Target group: MEN

MRS Independent Living is delivering a community project to increase older men’s confidence in engaging with services and activities that promote improved wellbeing.

The project draws on the knowledge and experience that older men have of accessing services and activities on offer and facilitates their support of other men.


Peter Bedford Housing Association is working with people with learning disabilities aged 50 and over on a range of activities to improve skills and confidence, health and wellbeing, and socialising.

Activities are run from their Hackney based hubs – including Clissold Gardens, Hoxton and Kingsland Road.


St Mary’s Secret Garden ‘The Garden Social’ provides a weekly club for people with learning disabilities aged 50 and over. The Club brings local older people together to work on shared gardening and maintenance activities.

There are also opportunities for the ‘Garden Socialisers’ to plan and develop the creative and social activities of the club.


Groundwork London’s “Silver Connections – Making the Most of your Mobile” is a programme comprising a course of six weekly sessions designed to increase the confidence of people aged 60+ to use their smartphones to access information.

This is centred on researching, planning and then going on an outing in Hackney which they otherwise wouldn’t have known about.


Newham New Deal Partnership is delivering a service which builds older people’s confidence to get online. It will provide six to eight programmes of practical activities based on participants’ interests at venues around Hackney, as well as pre-programme taster sessions, and follow on support via e-newsletters, telephone advice and drop-in.


The Friends of Woodberry Down Community Project delivers weekly community events for older people. It will allow older and younger people to come together, share food and enjoy a programme of activities at community venues in their local area.


Core Clapton’s Social Singing is a singing group for people of all ages with a special focus on the social inclusion of older people aged 55 and over that might be experiencing social isolation. The group meets once a week is an opportunity to meet, sing and socialise with new friends.


Immediate Theatre’s Theatre Exchange is a year-round programme of theatre workshops and performances for older people. It delivers three eight-week programmes in community settings offering a range of theatre-making skills, singing, story sharing, prop making, well as acting/performing. It also explores different ways to bring together older and younger generations to develop mutual respect and understanding.


The Posh Club (TPC) is a weekly social and entertainment club produced by the arts and events company Duckie Ltd. for adults aged over 60 who are experiencing, or at risk of, social isolation. These are glamorous events held in the heart of the community and emphasise dressing up, live entertainment, social connectivity and intergenerational volunteering. Come and feel alive, connected and joyful – and enjoy a taste of the high life!


Silver Saturdays is a social club, bringing older people together for fun and creative activities at the Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest Wellbeing Centre on the last Saturday of each month. The programme is run in partnership with Hoxton Health, Hanover Housing Association and Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation.

Target group: COMPLEX NEEDS

CarersCollectiveLDN is a collective devoted to helping carers and the people they support connect on both a creative and a personal level. Weekly meetings will be part networking sessions, part ‘meet-your-new-BFF’, and part creative wellness retreat. The project is designed to be a safe, creative space for carers at risk of mental health issues, carers who find it hard to leave the house and carers for people with dementia to come together, connect and be inspired.

Target group: COMPLEX NEEDS

Bring The Outside In is a project which plans to utilise more of Anchor Hanover Housing’s communal spaces by partnering with multiple organisations across Hackney to deliver a range of wellbeing services to its residents. Where possible, with the right access and resident permissions, services will also be open to the wider over 55s community in the borough.

Target group: COMPLEX NEEDS

GOAL (Getting Out and About Locally) provides a bookable excursion service. Running five days a week it includes transport as well as a range of activities. GOAL aims that ‘Every interaction with the customer will leave them feeling less lonely and less isolated, from booking to arriving home from the activity’.

Target group: COMPLEX NEEDS

Connect at Core is programme of sporting and social activities held at Core Arts and partner venues across Hackney. They use a holistic user-led ethos to tailor support for those who are at risk of or experiencing social isolation or loneliness. It is open to all older people in Hackney via GP or self-referral.

Target group: Older people from BAME communities

Hackney Chinese Table Tennis Club (HCTTC) is a weekly table tennis club for men and women aged 50 and over, aimed at the Chinese communities (including Chinese Vietnamese) in Hackney. Through playing and socialising in a welcoming and supportive community-based environment regularly, participants will get to know each other and start to develop a community spirit, cohesion, and resiliency and build different social networks. By taking part in meaningful and regular activities the aim is that participants will in turn live a more enriched and active lives.

Santé Sage, meaning Wise Health, is aimed at members of the African Francophone communities of Hackney, aged 50+. It provides a weekly peer supported meeting over refreshments for Francophone elder. Its key focus is empowerment/ support into self-expression; navigating health systems; lifestyle; diet; exercise; health management; networking, friendships and community involvement.

Creciendo juntas / Crescendo juntas (Growing together) is a by and for elder Latin American women’s space. The service (a 2-hour weekly session) is a holistic, intersectional and intergenerational affair where participants can shape the activities being delivered and the topics that will addressed throughout the project. Women will share a journey, in which they can decide together the activity they would like to develop, ensuring that they know their decisions are important and that they can influence other spaces.

Mutlu Yaşam (Happy Living) project for Turkish and Kurdish elders works towards reducing for over 50s by providing recreational and social activities program offering weekly group sessions and up to 6 coach trips. They also run Weekly Tea Club with craft and musical engagements, in addition Gardening Sessions and Mosaic Art sessions.

Somali Elders Project is a weekly film and cultural club, involving food, recounting memories and developing mindfulness techniques in order to address the clear impact on mental health particularly concerning Somali women. The project will also organise quarterly trips to museums and other free cultural spaces.

Target group: Digital inclusion

Media group members receive training in computers, photography, interviewing and writing skills. As well as learning, members produce stories, photos, and audio for this website and for Hackney Senior magazine.

To find out more about this project, or make a referral, places email call 020 7923 1962.